There’s an endless debate: which is more secure: Apple’s Mac or a Windows 10. In the past, security experts have established that Macs were less vulnerable to online threats, but, nowadays, it seems that they are targeted by cybercriminals just as frequently as PCs and laptops running on Microsoft’s operating system. This is not a good thing for enterprises, because they risk losing important data if they don’t take the necessary steps to ensure that the system is protected.
IT technical support officers have an important role in a company, as their job is not only to install and configure computer systems, but also to solve any technical issues. Doctors say that “prevention is better than cure”, and this applies to computer security, as well. In this case, to Macs’ security.
When setting up a Mac, the first account that is created is an administrator account, and it’s reserved for installing other programs and performing periodic maintenance. The System Preferences application from the Apple menu will be used for management purposes and in order to create a new account, you’ll just click the “+” symbol, then you’ll check or uncheck “Allow user to administer this computer” so that the new account will have the appropriate privileges.
It’s important to disable the “Guest User” and to uncheck “Allow guests to log in to this computer” to prevent strangers from accessing the machine.
Some Security Settings
In the General tab of the Security & Privacy system preferences pane, you’ll find the following settings:
- “Require password… after sleep or screen saver begins” will force users who don’t use the Mac for a set period of time to reauthenticate themselves;
- “Show a message when screen is locked” will be useful in the recovery of a lost or stolen Mac, as there will be added a message on the log in screen, such as “If found, please call…”;
- “Disable automatic log in”;
- “Allow applications downloaded from:” will allow the execution of only the applications downloaded from the App Store or identified developers to be executed.
The three levels of security offered by the “Advanced…” button include:
- “Log out after… minutes of inactivity” which will log the users out if they don’t use the Mac for the specified amount of time;
- “Require an administrator password…” will prevent most of the system preferences from being modified by anyone, except the administrator;
- “Automatically update safe downloads list” will update OS X’s database of all malware and will warn users when they will download malicious software.
Cybercriminals are targeting OS X’s Java environment and Apple is bringing security updates as often as possible, to stop most of the known malware. The problem is that whenever new updates are released, the administrator will need to manually install them on every Mac.
However, there’s an easier way: by going to “Sharing” system preference pane and activating the “Remote Login” function. Also, the administrator may grant other users the freedom to use this function by clicking on the plus sign and adding their names.
This network security system can be turned in the Firewall tab of Security & Privacy. It’s important to enable it because it will block incoming/outgoing connections and will allow connecting to the Internet only certain programs that will be chosen by the administrator.