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5 Mac Security Trends in 2017

March 22, 2017

2017 is just over two months old, and Mac has already been hit by new malware featuring small-scale targeted attacks and a Mac threat masked as an Adobe Flash Player update. For Mac users, security of their systems is vital, and with increasing security breaches and attacks, it is crucial to have the necessary Mac security tools and software on your Mac to fight online and offline security threats. The built-in security tools and third-party Mac security software offer offline and online  security against current macOS threats.

Let’s take a look at five Mac security threats that you may witness in 2017.

1. Data Breaches

Data breaches are common, and even the big fish are not spared from the attacks. A report by the Identify Theft Resource Center and Cyber Scout reveals that last year there was approximately 1,093 data breaches in the U.S., a 40 percent increase on YoY. Yahoo and Sony are some of the big names that have been recently hit by devastating cyber attacks. Data breaches are a concern even for the government, with president Trump vowing to strengthen the government’s cybersecurity capabilities because of alleged Russian and Chinese hacking activities against government institutions, government contractors, and even political parties. Though there is a concerted effort to tackle data breaches, the implementation and results will take time. It means that 2017 will witness more data breaches globally.

2. Mac Malware

The current macOS Sierra is a tough nut to crack, and detection of most malware with LaunchAgents is not helping the hackers. Adware or PUPs provide the simplest way to access Mac user data, along with fake Flash Player updates. The updated defenses in macOS Sierra have forced the malware authors to combine techniques such as fake Flash Player updates and phishing, with smart installers, such as SilverInstaller, and hijacking the download servers of existing products to plant malware on a target system.

3. Password Security

Cracking a password is one of  the simplest ways to break into a Mac. Every year, millions of users are on the receiving end of password breaks. The trend may not see a break unless websites and services enforce stronger passwords. For the sake of convenience, service providers and websites do not enforce strict measures, such as two-factor authentications, because it adds an extra step for users to access their content. Though the use of two-factor authentications and password managers is on the rise, it will take a few more years to improve the password security.

4. Flash Player Prompts

Flash player prompts have become the breeding ground for people with malicious intentions. This is because major web browsers have now disabled Flash Player and other plugins by default. As a result, the  websites that used to automatically stream Flash Player content now have to prompt users to allow the streaming. The prompts are annoying, and people typically click anywhere just to make them go away. This increases the probability of online security breaches.

5. DDos Attack

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) has been around for some time. Last year, the IoT botnet Mirai malware that can hijack IoT devices, was responsible for the largest DDoS attack ever recorded. As source code for IoT botnet Mirai is easily available, the frequency and size of DDoS attacks may be greater or similar to last year’s. Networking equipment and manufacturers of IoT devices have to build more secure equipment to make sure that the botnets such as Mirai cannot cause significant damage. Until that happens, the hackers will target the websites with DDoS attacks.

Protect Your Mac

It’s always good to be on the safe side. Using applications such as password manager on your Mac can help you secure your passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive data. Other best practices, such as updating the operating system and applications, using VPN when on public Wi-Fi networks, and uninstalling vulnerable plugins such as Flash Player, can also help secure your Mac. Performing all these tasks separately leaves room for error, especially if you are not a computer geek, and exactly here the iDoctor app comes into the picture. iDoctor is holistic Mac performance optimization and security software that allows you to uninstall vulnerable apps, update important apps, and protect sensitive information. Download iDoctor today and experience the difference.

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