Mac Security : Why You Should Protect Mac’s from Viruses

“I use a Mac, so I don’t need to worry about malware, phishing, or viruses.”

Many Mac users turn a blind eye to cybersecurity threats, often noting that most scams and attacks occur on PCs.

However, within the last few years, there has been a noted uptick in spyware (a type of software that gathers information about a person or organization without their knowledge), adware (software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material), and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) on Macs and iOS devices.

While Macs are known to have strong security features, they are by no means bullet proof. Webroot Vice President of Engineering David Dufour noted, “Many of these incidents are occurring through exploits in third-party solutions from Adobe, Oracle’s Java and others, providing a mechanism for delivering malicious software and malware.” Even the most internet-savvy users should be sure to install antivirus software on their Mac products.

Security tips for safe browsing on a Mac

Traditionally, because the Android operating system is more widely used around the world, it is also more highly targeted by cybercriminals. However, mobile devices running iOS are still vulnerable to security threats, and protecting them should be a priority for anyone who owns them. While it’s true that files and apps on mobile devices running iOS cannot be scanned in the same way that laptop devices can be, Webroot nonetheless recommends using mobile security as well as following these security recommendations to ensure safe browsing:

  1. Try using a VPN
    VPN stands for “virtual private network” and is a technology that adds an extra level of privacy and security while online, particularly when using public WiFi networks, which are often less secure. This recent Refinery29 article illustrates the benefits of VPNs for your work and personal life.
  2. Secure your browser
    You may be tempted to ignore messages about updating your browsers, but the minute an update is available, you should download and install it. This is good advice for all software being run on any devices—desktop, laptop, or mobile.
  3. Secure backup
    Be sure to regularly backup your computer and iOS devices so you can easily retrieve your data in case you get locked out of your device.
  4. Use strong passwords
    Instead of using a four-digit code on your iOS devices, use a combination of numbers and letters.

This article was provided by our service partner : Webroot

The End of an Era – Next Steps for Adobe Flash

Earlier this week, Adobe announced that Flash will no longer be supported after 2020. Microsoft will phase out support for Adobe Flash in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer ahead of this date.

Flash led the way on the web for rich content, gaming, animations, and media of all kinds, and inspired many of the current web standards powering HTML5. Adobe has partnered with Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple, and many others, to ensure that the open web could meet and exceed the experiences that Adobe Flash has traditionally provided. HTML5 standards, implemented across all modern browsers, provide these capabilities with improved performance, battery life, and increased security. We look forward to continuing to work with Adobe and our industry partners on enriching the open web without the need for plug-ins.

We will phase out Flash from Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, culminating in the removal of Flash from Windows entirely by the end of 2020. This process began already for Microsoft Edge with Click-to-Run for Flash in the Windows 10 Creators Update. The process will continue in the following phases:

  • Through the end of 2017 and into 2018, Microsoft Edge will continue to ask users for permission to run Flash on most sites the first time the site is visited, and will remember the user’s preference on subsequent visits. Internet Explorer will continue to allow Adobe Flash with no special permissions required during this time.
  • In mid to late 2018, we will update Microsoft Edge to require permission for Flash to be run each session. Internet Explorer will continue to allow Flash for all sites in 2018.
  • In mid to late 2019, we will disable Flash by default in both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Users will be able to re-enable Flash in both browsers. When re-enabled, Microsoft Edge will continue to require approval for Flash on a site-by-site basis.
  • By the end of 2020, we will remove the ability to run Adobe Flash in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer across all supported versions of Microsoft Windows. Users will no longer have any ability to enable or run Flash.

This timeline is consistent across browsers, including GoogleMozilla, and Apple. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Adobe, other browser vendors, and the publishing community, as we evolve the future of the web for everyone.

Recovering Disabled Apple Devices

The Evolution of Mobile Security
Information Security is a major priority in today’s mobile driven world. While devices like your phone are meant to be as accessible as possible, the contents are meant to remain private. Apple, a mobile industry leader, is always developing better solutions to keep your information safe. However, for every step Apple takes to keep up with new threats, their consumers are responsible for taking equal measures. The stakes have never been higher as the cost of securing your device also means potentially losing all device functionality!

It was only a few years ago our devices were only locked away behind a simple 4-digit passcode. If the passcode were ever lost, one would simply need to wipe the device and set it up as new. While this was effective in protecting our data, it was not effective in protecting our devices themselves. Apple wanted to take security a step forward and dissuade mobile theft entirely. Apple began implementing an online activation lock. Now even if an iPad, iPhone, or Mac were wiped, they would continue to remain locked until the original owner signed in to their Apple account and unlocked the device.

Getting Caught in the Net
While Apple’s activation lock proved very successful in combating black-market resale of mobile devices, it also caused headaches for registered owners. Many users found that misplacing a password meant that their devices were held hostage by Apple. Businesses would need to maintain even tighter control over their inventory in order to prevent accidental lock-outs. This could mean overhauling their entire internal process, something that wouldn’t simply happen over-night. While Apple’s security policies did far more good than harm, some mistakes were bound to happen. Luckily there are a few things we can do to get our devices back under control!

Regaining Control of your Mobile Device
If your device is asking you to enter an Apple ID and Password for an account that you don’t recognize, you will need to contact Apple in order to verify ownership.

  • Contact Apple and provide a purchase receipt
  • Contact Apple and provide the device serial # and answer purchase related questions

Contact Apple by phone, chat, or through an Apple Store:

Preventing the Problem with Mac OSX Server
Don’t fret! There is light at the end of the tunnel. Apple provides businesses with a few tools to manage and maintain their own devices, including the ability to control Activation Lock! By leveraging Apple’s Business Device Enrollment Program and Mac OSX Server software your business can have full control over its mobile devices. No need to call Apple to unlock your own phone again.

  • Apple’s Business Device Enrollment Program (DEP) was designed to shift control of Apple’s mobile security to the business owners. This allows IT to maintain large environments with a single administrator, rather than having users responsible for their own devices. Once a device is enrolled, your business maintains complete control over the configurations, profiles, and security; no middle man. The best feature is allowing users to add personal accounts to the devices without interfering with the business configuration. Users can be given usage rights to a device, rather than becoming temporary owners.
  • Mac OSX Server has mobile device management (MDM) tools built in that allow an administrator to make changes and tweak all devices owned by the business. Rather than making adjustments like adding WiFi hotspots or configuring email one device at a time, profiles can be implemented for individuals, divisions, or the entire company.

OS X Server Caching

We’ve all been there: Apple releases a new iOS update and everyone is going ham. Pretty soon you have a few dozen employees leveraging the internet to get their latest fix. These updates aren’t small, and the impact they will have for all the other users isn’t small either. How do we allow users to update their devices without dragging the corporate network down?
By using a caching service. Store all of your updates and apps, IOS or Mac, on a local server and serve it up internally.
All Apple devices are built to search for a local server with the ‘Caching Service’ enabled before stepping outside the network. A device will only need to download from apple once before the caching service makes it available, locally, to all other requesters. No need to sweat the next iOS update.