Apple computers and mobile devices have long been thought to be less susceptible to hackers and viruses, but a global security firm is warning criminals are using this perception to their advantage.
According to cyber security solutions firm Fortinet, the rapid growth in popularity of Apple products combined with user demographics are making them much more attractive to cyber attackers.
The company says that many business leaders, executives and marketing teams in Australia are often more likely to use Apple devices, making them highly attractive to hackers.
“When it comes to security, the only constant is change, whether it is the way networks are evolving or how these changes are creating new opportunities for criminals,” says Aamir Lakhani, senior security strategist at Fortinet.
“It is imperative that companies approach security from a holistic perspective. This includes making sure that every device is protected across all threat vectors, including Mac devices that were thought to be secure.”
With a rise in hacking and ransoming specifically targeting Apple devices, Fortinet has released the following advice to help Apple users keep their devices more secure:
1. Apply patches and updates
Apple regularly provides security updates. Users must make sure they take the time to apply them.
2. Backup your device
Apple’s Time Machine service will automatically create full system backups, which means that should a system get ransomed, you can simply wipe the device and perform a full system restore from backup.
Regularly scan backups for vulnerabilities and store these backups offline.
Offline storage is vital because Time Machine backup systems are often persistently connected to the device being backed up, and risk being compromised during an attack.
3. Encrypt data stored on device
While this may not be effective against many ransomware variants, it is still a good practice.
This is because it can protect an organisation should any device become infected with malware that is designed to steal files and data.
4. Install an endpoint security client
Look for endpoint solutions that will not only protect your device, but tie that security back into your network security strategy, allowing you to leverage and share threat intelligence to better protect your device and its assets.
5. Deploy security that covers other threat vectors
As email is still the number one source for malware and infection, ensure that a robust email security solution is deployed.
The same is true for web security tools, wired and wireless access controls, cloud-based security, and network segmentation strategies that help detect, isolate and respond to threats found anywhere across a distributed environment.