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MacOS Malware and the Importance of Keeping Systems and Apps up to date plus more on this Tech Talk with Craig Peterson Podcast

Craig Peterson - America's Leading Technology News Commentator

Release Date: 10/09/2020

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Craig discusses the oversharing attitudes of Millennials and Generation Z, and the importance of paying attention to our networks, how it can lead to malware in businesses, and what can be done to stop it.

For more tech tips, news, and updates, visit - CraigPeterson.com


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Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:

By the way, to follow up on that last segment. So Millennials and Generation Z are terrible with security. They keep reusing passwords. They accept connections with strangers. Most of the time. If that's not believable, I don't know what it is. They've grown up in this world of share everything with everyone. What does it matter? Don't worry about it. Yeah. I guess that's the way it goes. Right? Kids these days. Which generation hasn't said that in the past?

You're listening to Craig Peterson. Thanks for joining me today.

We were just talking about millennials, generation Z, and the whole, it won't happen to me, employee apathy, and we've got to stop that.

Even within ourselves, right? We're all employees in some way or another. What does that mean? It means we've got to pay attention. We've' got to pay a lot of attention, and that isn't just true in the windows world.

Remember, we've got to pay attention to our network. It would be best if you were upgrading the firmware on your switches, definitely upgrading the software and firmware in your firewalls and your routers, et cetera. Keep that all up to date.

Even as a home user, you've got a switch or more than one. You've got a router. You've got a firewall in many cases, that your ISP internet service provider provides equipment. If you've got a Comcast line or a FairPoint, whatever, it might be coming into your home, they're providing you with some of that equipment, and you know what their top priority is not your security. I know. Shocker.

Their top priority is something else. I don't know, but it sure isn't security. What I advise most people to do is basically remove their equipment or have them turn off what's called network address translation. Turn off the firewall and put your own firewall in place. I was on the phone with a lady that had been listening to me for years, and I was helping her out. In fact, we were doing a little security audit because she ran a small business there in her home. I think she was an accountant if I remember right. She had her computer hooked up directly to the internet. She misunderstood what I was saying. I want to make this clear what I'm saying here. People should still have a firewall. It would be best if you still had a router, but you're almost always better off getting a semi-professional piece of hardware. If you will, the prosumer side, something like the Cisco GO hardware, put that in place instead of having the equipment that your ISP is giving you.

 We've got to keep all of this stuff up to date. Many of us think that Macs are invulnerable, Apple Macintoshes, or Apple iOS devices, like our iPhones and iPads. In many ways, they are. They have not been hit as hard as the Windows devices out there.

One of the main reasons is they're not as popular. That's what so many people that use Windows say you don't get hit because you're just not as popular. There is some truth to that. However, the main reason is that they are designed from the beginning with security in mind; unlike Windows, security was an absolute afterthought for the whole thing.

Don't tell me that it's because of age. Okay. I can hear it right now. People say, well, Mac is much, much newer than Microsoft Windows. Microsoft didn't have to deal with all of this way back when. How I respond to that is, yeah. Microsoft didn't have to deal with it way back when it wasn't connected to a network and your viruses coming in via floppy desk. Right? They really were. In fact, the first one came in by researchers. Apple's operating system is much, much older than windows and goes back to the late 1960s, early 1970s. So you can't give me that it is just that they didn't care.

They didn't care to consider security at all, which is still one of my soapbox subjects if you will. Security matters. When we are talking about your Macs, you still have to consider security on a Mac. It's a little different on a Mac. You're probably want to turn on some things.

The windows come with the firewall turned on; however, it has all of its services wide open. They're all available for anybody to attach to. That's why we have our windows hardening course that goes through, what do you turn off? How do you turn it off? What should you have in the windows firewall?

Now the Mac side, all of these services turned off by default, which is way more secure. If they're not there to attack, they're not going to be compromised. Right.  They can't even be attacked in the first place. So I like that strategy, but you might want to turn on your firewall on your Mac anyways.

There are some elegant little features and functions in it. But the amount of malware that's attacking Apple Macintoshes, nowadays, is twice as much as it used to be.

We've got these work from home people. We've got IT professionals within the companies, just scrambling to make it so that these people working from home can keep working from home. It's likely a permanent thing. It's going to be happening for a long time. But these incidents of malware on the Mac is pretty limited in reality.

The malware on a Mac is unlikely to be any ransomware or software that particularly steals things like your Excel files or your Word docs on a Mac, and I should say it is much more likely to be outerwear. It's much more likely to be. Adware or some other unwanted programs, and that's what's rising pretty fast on Macs.

Mac-based companies are being concerned here about cybersecurity issues. They are paying more attention to them. They're windows based counterparts have had to deal with a lot of this stuff for a long time because they were targets. So we've got to divide the Mac really into two pieces, just like any other computer. You've got the operating system with its control over things like the network, et cetera. Then you have the programs or applications. That is running on that device. So you want to keep both of them secure. The applications running on your device, Apple's done a much, much better job of sandboxing them. Making them so that they're less dangerous. The latest release, in fact, Catalina had a lot of security stuff built into that. Microsoft and Windows 10 added a lot more security. So that's all really, really good.

Now, if you have to maintain a network of Macs, we like IBM software. They have some great software for managing Macs, but if you want something inexpensive and very usable to configure Macs and control the software on them. Have a look at JAMF, J A M F. They just had their user's conference this last weekend. They were talking about how the landscape has changed over on the Mac side.

All right. We've got one more segment left today, and I'm going to talk about these cybersecurity frameworks. What should you be using?

If you are a business or a home user, what are those checkboxes that you absolutely have to have to use?

You're listening to Craig Peterson.

Stick around.


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