The technology industry keeps you humble. As a technology consultant, I've spent considerable time assisting businesses needing to eliminate virus infections, remove malicious worms, and tighten security. And, despite my family's penchant for demanding obscure Minecraft modifications and European manga, we've remained virus free. Yet, just last week my Mac browser was briefly hijacked when I accidentally typed a URL. I intended to visit a popular clothier; instead I typed one or two characters incorrectly and found Safari battling redirection and efforts to change my default homepage.
All Macs need antivirus. Apple made the pronouncement years ago. Yet, few Mac users load anti-malware software. As OS X share increases, and as Mac laptop sales continue increasing, in particular, OS X will become a greater malware target. Here are two leading applications businesses and end users can load to protect their Macs and their businesses.
ESET has long built respected Windows and Mac anti-malware software. The firm's NOD32 antivirus software both detects and removes numerous threats, including viruses, Trojans, worms, adware, spyware and rootkits. ESET NOD32 also integrates well with remote management and monitoring platforms (RMM), which better centralize monitoring, administration, and support, such as is provided by Labtech as but one example.
ESET's Mac-specific engine, NOD32 Antivirus Business Edition for Mac, is priced reasonably, consumes few system resources and includes its own Remote Administrator solution if an organization doesn't already possess a centralized administration platform. Better yet, the application consistently scores well in independent antivirus tests, including Virus Bulletin's comparative report.
Symantec Endpoint Protection
In mixed environments, in which an organization also supports Windows and Linux workstations, Symantec Endpoint Protection presents a standardized, effective option. Available at low-cost to nonprofit organizations through Tech Soup and at reasonable prices for enterprise organizations, Symantec Endpoint Protection ranked among the very best anti-malware platforms in Gartner's January 2013 Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms (Gartner requires purchase/registration to access the report).
Gartner touts Symantec's Protection Center (SPC) overlay administration console capabilities and notes its zero-day, targeted attack and virtualized environment scanning optimization features are strengths. Forrester Research, meanwhile, in its own January report titled, The Forrester Wave: Endpoint Security, Q1 2013 (access part of subscription), stated Symantec is among the firms that lead the endpoint pack and received kudos for integrated management capabilities. In Forrester's ranking, Symantec's current antivirus engine ranked highest as a leader and second highest for strategy (Forrester noted the 12.0 platform is among the broadest product suites its ever tested), positioning the firm's anti-malware engine as among the best available.
Protection requires deployment
Whichever endpoint protection or antivirus platform you select to protect Macs, it's important to remember that your business doesn't receive the anti-malware protections and centralized administration benefits until the application is actually deployed. As Macs increasingly become malware targets, and as US-based businesses already serve as attractive targets to overseas hackers lured by the business' US-based WAN IP and non-blacklisted email servers, it's important that Mac organizations take steps to protect themselves. Certainly, either of the anti-malware platforms listed here will help.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.