In the year 2021, the war for computer superiority has a clear winner, and it is the Macintosh, by Apple. The company’s Pro model laptops are finally, belatedly equipped with ports that have been standard in other computers for years. The company’s beleaguered “butterfly” keyboard has seemingly been erased from history. And the base model of company’s powerhouse desktop tower could set you back a hefty $6,000.
What’s not to love?
Ribbing aside, according to our resident Mac expert at Malwarebytes, Thomas Reed, Apple has made several important decisions about device design in the past few decades to make them more secure, easier to use, and harder to tamper. And that’s a boon to users because, as Malwarebytes discovered just a couple of years ago, the threats to Mac machines increased by 400 percent from the year prior. But threats to Apple devices extend beyond laptop and desktop threats—for years, small companies have been finding vulnerabilities in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system and selling them to the highest bidders.
So, what defenses do Apple users have to prevent the increasing number of threats from impacting them directly? As Reed explained in this week’s Lock and Code episode with host David Ruiz, there’s a lot. Apple keeps bad users out, prevents clueless users from messing things up, and it works somewhat diligently to catch malware when it’s first reported on.
But not everything is as good as it should be, Reed said. In particular, Apple’s ideology about product secrecy has bled into its approach to security updates, meaning that the company has failed to provide transparent, timely communication to its users when it matters most.
“I can understand the secrecy when it comes to new products and new designs. But when it comes to security, communication is really important and Apple could really learn something from Microsoft.”
Thomas Reed, director of Mac and Mobile at Malwarebytes
Tune in to the latest episode of Lock and Code to learn about Mac security successes and failures, and about Mac history and Reed’s first experience with a computer mouse, along with a story about, reportedly, the first-ever ransomware attack in history.
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