March 31, 2019

Why You Need to Update Your macOS Security Settings NOW

Many companies keep their device and data security on autopilot—they rarely do much to keep things up to date and rely on automatic updates to do everything. While this is easier than taking an active role in managing security updates, it’s not the optimal solution for securing macOS devices (or devices on any operating system, really).

It’s important for companies to regularly review their macOS security settings and update them. Why might you need to update your macOS security configurations right now? Here are a few reasons to verify that your macOS security is up to date as soon as possible:

To Ensure Your Mac Security Settings Comply with the Latest Security Standards

Security compliance standards such as the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS’s) security benchmarks—which forms the basis for NIST compliance for macOS devices—will frequently change. As these standards update to their newest version, it is possible that the macOS security settings that were sufficient for compliance in the old version are no longer considered enough in the new version.

If it has been a while since your last macOS security settings update, it may be time to double-check the documentation of the compliance standards your company is expected to meet. This way, you can verify if you’re applying the right Mac security settings to keep up with compliance requirements.

To Thwart New Cyberattack Strategies

Cybercriminals are constantly trying to find new ways to attack businesses. Whether they’re seeking personal profit, are working on the behalf of another entity, or are trying to make a political statement, the people behind cyberattacks are highly motivated to find ways to breach your cybersecurity.

Whenever a new cyberattack strategy is created, you can expect to see it used against your network at some point in the near future as attackers try to get the most out of it before new security updates and measures can be enabled.

For example, consider the rise and fall of ransomware. As noted by Computer Weekly, “ransomware dominated the malware landscape in 2017, affecting around 48% of organisations at the height of its popularity… the past year saw a sharp decline in the use of ransomware, with only 4% of the world’s organisations affected by ransomware attacks in 2018.”

Early on, many business organizations did not have the right security measures, knowledge, and resources in place to effectively counter ransomware attacks. However, as time went on and awareness of ransomware—and how to counter it with data backups and business continuity solutions—increased, ransomware attacks fell off. The existence of effective countermeasures blunted the effectiveness of ransomware attacks, so cybercriminals moved on to the next strategy.

Keeping your macOS security settings up to date is crucial for countering new cyber threats. Part of this will require an in-depth knowledge of current cyberattack trends, which may mean acquiring access to threat intelligence feeds so you can be aware of the latest attack methods and which security settings can best counter them.

To Prevent the Illicit Use of Your Company’s macOS Devices

Many macOS users aren’t aware of the different login and access controls that Macs have to offer. For example, there are guest login settings that can be used to give anyone access to the Mac without knowing the primary user’s login information. This guest mode has limited access, but a malicious actor could abuse this to steal sensitive information and data.

Mac security settings such as disabling guest users and removing the guest user folder can be crucial to preventing the illicit use of your company’s macOS devices by unauthorized personnel. However, because many aren’t aware of these security settings for Apple devices, they may miss them.

Going over the list of macOS security controls that you need to enable for compliance with FedRAMP, NIST, and other security standards can help make you aware of these login and access settings. Alternatively, a codeless security configuration tool can help by laying out a list of different Mac security configurations that you can use to restrict access to your macOS devices.

In fact, using a codeless configuration tool makes it easy to keep your macOS security settings up to date by enabling one-click security setting changes.

The “Too Long; Didn’t Read” summary of why you should update your macOS security settings soon is that:

  1. Updating security settings for macOS devices is necessary for compliance with ever-changing security standards.

  2. Updating your macOS security settings can help you thwart new and emerging cyberattack strategies.

  3. Tight control of user account access settings is vital for Mac security because of the alternative login methods many macOS devices have.

Need more information and advice about maintaining strict security for your fleet of macOS devices? Subscribe to the Kandji blog for more information and updates. 

Subscribe to the Kandji Blog

kandji badge

Secure Your macOS
Fleet Today

Sign up quickly and easily using your Gmail or Microsoft Office 365 business account or a verifiable business email address.