Where there are internet users, there are criminals, and Mac is no exception. Viruses compromising Mac software have rapidly increased due to the soaring success of their products in the marketplace, with reports suggesting that Macs are now facing twice as many threats as Windows PCs.
Apple goes to great lengths to provide a high level of protection from malware, and all Macs include built-in protections in the hardware and operating systems such as XProtect and Gatekeeper. Antivirus experts agree that this inbuilt software provides a good level of baseline protection when compared to Windows PCs, but just because the threat from malware is lower, doesn’t mean it’s foolproof, and for most business systems, further security software must be given serious consideration.
So when is additional antivirus software essential for my business's Macs?
The level of security you require for your business devices largely depends on what you use them for, what you are storing or have access to and what the consequences may be if your data is compromised. The more valuable your computer data is, the more vulnerable you are to be targeted by hackers. For example, if you are storing or have access to personal, sensitive, confidential or valuable data, you run a higher risk of being targeted due to the desirability of the content. Moreover, if you run an industry with multiple Mac computers, the risk of malware attacks is significantly amplified.
In these cases, additional encryption and Mac antivirus software are crucial to maximising the defence against Mac-targeted attacks. The consequences of ignoring the risks can be devastating to a business or industry.
Failing to effectively secure your computers may, for example, lead to the leaking of client personal information, which can result in fines of up to 4% of a company’s net turnover (GDPR), let alone the business interruption and reputational damage. Furthermore, without effective protection, you run the risk of ransomware, where hackers encrypt the files on your computer and demand money to unlock them.
How do I choose the best antivirus for my Mac?
When deciding which additional layers of protection to install on your Mac, you need to identify the best antivirus software to fit your needs.
The first step is to conduct an in-depth risk assessment, looking at what the main risks are to the data you hold on your Mac and what the consequences would be if all your data were to be lost or compromised.
Once you have determined the severity of this risk, this will help in deciding the type and level of protection you require. You then need to consider the software’s reputation/success rate, cost and the potential effect it has on your Mac’s performance and speed. We would recommend doing your research or seeking advice to decide what the most appropriate solution for your organisation's needs will be.
You need to weigh up the financial and reputational risk of malware crowbarring its way into your Mac, and the cost it is to your business to invest in additional security. You can then make a decision on which antivirus software is best for your business needs.
Although there are free protective software packages available to download for Mac, we recommend opting for paid antivirus where possible.