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Introduction

In this short article we look at the challenge posed to enterprises by the rise in Mac adoption.

Macs in the workplace were once few and far between. But, increasingly, that's no longer the case.

Research carried out by JAMF found 68% of IT executives say Mac usage increased in their organization in 2015. [1] And, if the findings of this report (and others like it) are to be believed, the trend seems set to continue. Of those surveyed, 67% think Mac will cut into PC share of the market in the next three years.

The problem with this rise in usage is that until recently, there has been no viable solution for controlling and managing enterprise Macs. Historically, this meant Mac users were allowed privileges (such as full admin rights) and the devices have generally been allowed to exist outside of the corporate network. As the popularity of Macs increases, so too do the risks. Symantec research revealed a monthly average of between 10,000 and 70,000 Mac computers infected with malware in 2014. [2] And, perhaps even more concerningly, Sophos suggests 82% of enterprise Mac users do not get security updates. [3]

Number of threats on the increase

For a long time, there has been a perception that Macs are more secure than Windows devices. However, their popularity has made them an increasing target for cyber criminals, with a growing number of threats now targeting the platform.

XCode Ghost Malware is one example of this, and saw cyber criminals planting malware on Apple apps. And another Apple-specific threat is the KeRanger malware, which was hidden inside the installer of the popular Transmission BitTorrent client for OS X. Those unlucky enough to fall victim to it are also hit with a one bitcoin (around $410) ransom demand.


[1] http://resources.jamfsoftware.com/documents/white-papers/2015-Survey-Managing-Apple-Devices-in-the-Enterprise.pdf
[2] http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/security_response/whitepapers/apple-threat-landscape.pdf
[3] https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2014/01/09/82-of-enterprise-mac-users-not-getting-security-updates/