Security and Macintosh Infrastructures

Contrary to an idea widely spread and skilfully maintained by Apple advertisements, macOS is not totally immune to viruses and certainly not immune to any aggression, as we will see.

Without being alarmist, to say that an antivirus is useless on Mac, as we often read and hear it, would be to go a little fast. It is important to understand that:

Viruses are only a sub-category of malware (malware) that can infect our Macs.
A good “antivirus” is not limited to the detection of viruses in the strict sense, but to any form of malware (see our antivirus suggestions at the end of this article).

We have tested the best mac os antivirus software for Macintoshs, and here we show you the results. Intego, Norton, Sophos, Avira, Kaspersky, ESET… Read our list of winners!

Viruses on Mac: should you protect your computer?

Macs are commonly considered more secure than PCs, and rightly so. The Unix operating system of Apple products has many firewalls that restrict access to certain security areas of the computer.

Besides, compared to PCs, Macs represent only a tiny fraction of the PC market. As a result, pragmatic malware developers are less likely to tackle them.

However, Apple computers are not impervious to all malware. This malware (viruses, spyware, Trojans, etc.) is intended to hijack your private information or take possession of your computer for criminal and financial purposes.

It is therefore advisable to protect your computer, whatever its brand.
To surf the Internet with complete peace of mind, read our ranking of the best antivirus products for Mac!

mac anti malware and virus softwares

Mac Antivirus: how to choose the best antivirus for your Apple products?

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

The absolute protection. Designed for Mac.

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac integrates the most advanced cybersecurity technologies in the world. Enjoy your Mac safely.

Choose a solution that protects more than 500 MILLION users.

The effectiveness of antivirus is measured by its ability to protect your computer from malware. To compare the different antiviruses presented here, we used a VMware Fusion virtual machine running under macOS 10.13.3 and downloaded ten viruses: BadBunny, Clapzok, FileCoder, Inqtana, Koobface, Macareno, MineSteal, Renepo, WeaponX, and XcodeGhost.

For each software, we tested the programmed scans and virus detection in real time.

Norton Security for Mac

This year, Norton is back in our top 3 best anti-viruses for Mac since it was able to identify 100% of the attacks during our test. Of course, it took him several scans to detect the XcodeGhost virus, but it’s better than many other programs.

Norton is easy to install and comes with two extensions for Safari: Safe web, which blocks your access to dangerous websites, and Identity Safe, which manages your passwords.

The antivirus is discreet on your computer and, if you wish, you can program your scans or launch them manually.

Sophos Antivirus

Sophos has detected all ten viruses in our test, which is particularly impressive for free software.

Regarding presentation, this antivirus is minimalist since it is displayed as an icon in your menu bar. To launch an analysis of your computer, click on it and select the appropriate tab.

Although it does not have many advanced features, this antivirus still has a parental filter and protection against malicious websites.

Do you want more services? The paid version of Sophos can protect up to 10 computers and offers protection against software ransom.

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac

Once you have selected the version of Kaspersky that is right for your operating system, it is easy to install.

During our test, this antivirus was a little slow, and several scans were necessary to identify the ten viruses.

However, Kaspersky compensates for these deficiencies with exciting features such as Safe Money, which protects your online payments.

Meltdown and Spectrum: 5 questions on processor vulnerabilities

Two security vulnerabilities on modern Intel processors, AMD and ARM, Meltdown and Spectre, were recently unveiled by research teams.

These vulnerabilities would allow a cyber attacker to access passwords and sensitive data on the concerned computers.

What are Meltdown and Spectrum?

2 critical vulnerabilities have been discovered in modern processor chips by Google Project Zero teams.

Meltdown have affected all Intel processors since 1995 (except Intel Itanium and Intel Atom processors before 2013) while the second, Spectrum, also concerns ARM and AMD processors.
These two vulnerabilities can allow cyber attackers to gain unauthorized access to a computer’s memory, and therefore to sensitive data. The pirates can use these vulnerabilities on personal computers, mobile devices, and the cloud.

How do they work?

Meltdown and Spectrum exploit processor vulnerabilities to bypass memory isolation in the operating system.

Meltdown can remove the barrier between user applications and critical parts of the operating system. This vulnerability makes possible to a program to access the memory, and therefore sensitive data of other programs and the operating system.

Spectrum can deceive vulnerable applications and gain access to the contents of their memory.

What are the risks?

Meltdown and Spectrum are used to recover processed data from the computer. A malicious program can use Meltdown and Spectrum to obtain secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. It can include passwords stored in a manager or browser, personal photos, emails, instant messaging and even critical documents.

Exploiting these vulnerabilities against cloud services seems to be the most worrying scenario.
Can we protect ourselves from it?

Microsoft, Apple, and Linux released patches to correct the Meltdown vulnerability.

However, these patches can have an impact on the performance of the affected computers. And the impact varies depending on the hardware generation and implementation by the chip manufacturer. The developers of the Linux patch have announced an average performance decrease of 30%.

Can we know if we were attacked?

Exploiting a flaw does not leave any traces in traditional log files (those containing system messages such as kernel, services, and applications).

Although detection by antivirus is possible in theory, it is not possible in practice. Unlike conventional malware, Meltdown and Spectrum are difficult to distinguish from benign applications. However, your antivirus software can detect malware that uses attacks by comparing binaries after the antivirus discovers them.

Till this time, no information has been disclosed regarding the exploitation of these vulnerabilities by hackers.

Why You Should Move To The Cloud

Cloud computing has come a long way and there are more and more people adopting this. If you run a business, you need to know all of the reasons why you should look at moving to the cloud. The benefits of cloud computing can help your business in a number of different ways.

The Flexibility

When your computing is all done on hardware that you own, you will have limited flexibility. It will be harder and more expensive to upgrade your computing when you need to expand. Additionally, if you have seasonal peaks in your needs, you do not want to get expensive computing hardware which will be redundant for the rest of the year.

This is where cloud computing will be able to help you. As you do not own any of the hardware, you will not have to worry about the expense of them. The cloud computing provider that you work with will generally have a range of different cloud packages that you can use. This allows you to easily increase and decrease your cloud capacity when you need it and for as long as you need it.

Disaster Recovery

data distributionAll businesses should have a disaster recovery plan in place because you never know when something bad is going to happen. Cloud computing can help with this plan because all of your data will be saved in the cloud. This will reduce the expenses that you face with your disaster recovery plan because you will not have to store servers at 2 locations.

When disaster hits your company, your employees will also be able to continue working with cloud computing. This is due to the fact that they will be able to work anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. This can reduce the impact that a disaster has on the operation of your business and reduce the loss of income that you could face.

Automatic Software Updates

One of the benefits of cloud computing is the fact that the server is off-site and being monitored by IT professionals hired by the cloud computing provider. This means that you will not have to hire your own IT people to handle the updating of the servers and all of the software. This will generally be included in your cloud package.

Automatic software updates are important because they boost the security of your data. Updates to software will close known holes and ensure that you are safer from hackers. When you have to run the updates yourself, you might be tempted to put this off or your employees could delay the installation.

Environmentally Friendly

If your business is looking to be environmentally friendly, cloud computing is the right solution. When you use the cloud, you can fluctuate your server capacity as you need it. This will actually reduce the amount of energy that your company uses as you will not have to servers that you are not using. The fact that you can work from anywhere will also help you reduce your reliance on paper which is another way to save the environment.

How Cloud Computing Technology Is Changing Management

Cloud computing technology has come a long way over the years and is changing the way that businesses operate. One of the areas impacted by cloud computing technology is management. There are a number of ways that cloud computing is changing management and you need to know what they are so you can better implement changes in your business.

Real-Time Information

One of the ways that management is being changed by cloud computing is through the real-time information that is now available. In the past, managers would have to wait for reports from different teams to understand the progress of a project. This is no longer the case as managers will be able to access all of the data in real time.

This makes management more effective, but could also lead to a problem with micro-management. Data overload is also possible and this can cause a lot of friction between managers and staff. The impact of real-time data will need to be balanced when managing projects to avoid conflict or feelings of being over-supervised.

Managing Compliance

better efficiency at workThe task of management groups will not only be to ensure that every project and department is on track. Management will also need to ensure that their departments and projects are compliant with internal procedures and government regulations. When working with cloud computing, there will often be more work to be done when it comes to compliance.

Management groups will have to assess if the data being shared on the cloud is compliant with all regulations. This is particularly important if the business works with sensitive data which is being stored in the cloud. The controls which were previously in place to maintain compliance may become impractical with cloud computing.

This means that management will also need to relook the procedures which have been in place and are currently used. These procedures will have to be improved to deal with the new cloud environment. In this way, management is being made more responsible in terms of compliance when cloud computing is being used.

Workflow Approval

Cloud computing is also changing the way that management deals with workflow approval. In many businesses, managers will have to sign off on stages of projects and other daily work. In the past, this would generally be sent to management via email or as a hard copy for approval. This delayed the approval and would often be lost in the other documents management receives.

Cloud computing is changing this as it allows approval requests to be sent via cloud software and tracked by shareholders in the process. Cloud computing also makes it easier for managers to provide the approval which is needed. In most cases, the software which is used required the manager to view the data and then click a button to provide approval.

Cloud computing technology is changing the way we do business and impacting management of companies. There are a number of ways that this is happening with real-time information, compliance management, and workflow approval being a few of them.

What Is Cloud Computing And How Does It Affect What You Do

‘The Cloud’ has become a real buzzword” but what is it, where is it, and how does it impact what you do on your computer? Cloud computing is defined as the practice of making use of a network of remote servers on the internet to process, manage, and store data. In the simplest terms, it means storing and accessing your data and running your programs via the internet rather than using your personal computer’s hard drive or a local server. The term is a metaphor for the internet that comes from the times when presentations and flowcharts represented the gigantic infrastructure of the internet as a fluffy white floating cloud doling out information.

When you use your hard drive to store data and run programs it’s called local computing and storage. For decades, working off a hard drive was the only way the computer industry functioned. Everything needed was physically close and easily accessible for that one computer or others working on a local network. Cloud computing is not about using your hard drive and does not have a dedicated NAS (Network Attached Storage) server or hardware in residence. Cloud computing means you access your data and programs over the internet or have it synced with other information via the Web. Typically an individual user is unaware of the massive data processing that happens on the other side of a connection as cloud computing can be done at any time and anywhere.

Business vs Consumer Cloud Computing

When it comes to big business there is an entirely different version of the cloud. Businesses are able to implement software like SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) where they subscribe to access an application over the internet, for example, Salesforce.com. By using PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) a company can customize its own applications for use by everyone in the business. There is also the mighty IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service where subscribers like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Rackspace provide a platform that can be rented out. An example is Netflix that uses the cloud services of Amazon to provide their customers with services. The cloud computing market was generating over $100 billion per year in 2012 which is estimated to increase to about $500 billion by the year 2020.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing

Adaptability
Cloud computing provides for adaptable applications and programs that are customizable while owners are allowed full control over the core code.

Reliability
Because the cloud is hosted by a third party it provides users with greater assurances of reliability and easy access to customer support when there are problems.

Multitenant
Cloud software provides business users with the opportunity to offer personalized portals and applications to a number of tenants or customers.

Scalable
In today’s ‘Internet of Things,’ it becomes essential that software can integrate with other applications and function across every device. Cloud applications make this possible.

Security
Due to increased resources for centralization and security of data, cloud computing can guarantee a more secure computing environment.

Traditional business applications can be very expensive and complicated to run, often requiring a team of experts to configure, install, run, test, update, and secure a variety of software and hardware applications. When this effort is multiplied across hundreds of apps it becomes easy to see why even the biggest businesses with the best IT teams aren’t getting the apps they need, and small to mid-sized companies don’t stand a chance. For these types of situations, the affordability of cloud-hosted applications becomes an essential tool.

The Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing

There is no denying that businesses, both big and small can enjoy numerous benefits from cloud computing. However, as with anything in this world, this type of technology has its drawbacks as well. As such, it is essential that you take the time to comprehend the pros and cons of cloud computing, which will enable you to get the most out of it.

The Pros of Cloud Computing

Saving Costs

IT cost savings is perhaps the most significant benefit of cloud computing. Businesses, regardless of the size exist to earn money while keeping the operational expenses and capital to a minimum. With this solution, you can save significant capital costs with no application and in-house server storage requirements. The lack of this infrastructure ideally eliminates the associated costs in the form of air conditioning, power as well as administration costs. It is usually a misconception that only big firms can be able to utilize the cloud, when in fact, cloud computing services are quite affordable and accessible for smaller businesses as well.

Strategic Edge

The ever-increasing resources in the computing field will give you a competitive edge over your business rivals as there won’t be a time where you will need IT procurement. Your firm can deploy critical applications that provide substantial business benefits with no upfront costs and reduced provisioning time. Cloud computing ideally lets you forget about technology and allows you to pay attention to critical activities and business goals. Cloud computing can ideally help you reduce the time required to market newer products and services.

Scalability

You can be able to scale up or down your storage and operation needs quickly to fit your situation. This allows for flexibility as your business needs change. Instead of buying and installing costly upgrades yourself, the cloud computing service provider will handle things for you. Utilizing the cloud frees up your time so that you can focus on other critical business activities.

The Cons of Cloud Computing

Security

cloud computing explainedEven though most of the well-known cloud service providers have industry certifications and implement the best security standards, storing valuable data on external storage service providers opens up many risks. Utilizing cloud computing means that you have to provide the service provider access to your business data. The ease in accessing cloud services ideally gives fraudsters the ability to look for, identify and exploit vulnerabilities and loopholes within the system. For example, in a multi-tenant cloud system where several users utilize the same server, a hacker might attempt to gain access to data of other people hosted and stored in the same place. However, the chances of this happening are next to nil, and the likelihood of compromise is unlikely.

Downtime

As the cloud computing providers handle some clients per day, they can be overwhelmed, not to forget the possibility of technical outages. This could lead to your business being temporarily suspended, which is the last thing you want, primarily if your business heavily depends on online traffic. Ideally, if your internet connection is down, you won’t be able to access your server, data or applications from the cloud.