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Thoughful conclusions on Mac in corporate world
One man's experience for eWeek
weeks




msg:4123628
 2:28 pm on Apr 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Cameron Sturdevant's overview...
First, it was great to not worry about antivirus protection....It was strangely odd to bank, check my credit card and shop online without really worrying about the security...

Second, it was awesome to have stuff "just work."...

Alas,
Once a corporate decision is made to support multiple desktop operating systems, there's no way a fan-based attitude toward one OS is going to make it easy or cheap to manage a second or third platform.

[eweek.com...]

 

eelixduppy




msg:4125048
 4:37 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

>> it was great to not worry about antivirus protection

I think this is a poor image that Apple conveys to the general populace to make their product seem better over other OS's. The reality is that if an attacker wants to target the OSX operating system there are certainly exploitable techniques to do so. The fact that Macs are used less in general is the only reason attackers aren't wasting their efforts with them. As popularity grows, however, there will be an increased concern over security.

weeks




msg:4125483
 7:25 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Most of the better-informed people have greatly discounted the idea of Mac's virus protection coming from the lack of market share of Apple computers.

It's not just one thing that has made Macs more secure, so it takes time to explain. And people prefer simple and easy to understand answers. And, there is a tad of truth to your market share argument.

Here's one writers careful look at the issue:
Thanks to its extensive use of battle-hardened Unix and open source software, Mac OS X also has always had security precautions in place that Windows lacked. It has also not shared the architectural weaknesses of Windows that have made that platform so easy to exploit and so difficult to clean up afterward...
[roughlydrafted.com...]

One reason I like that somewhat aligns with "market share" is that since Mac's are typically more expensive, their users are typically better educated and more sophisticated, wisely avoiding viruses. Mac users are better looking, snappy dressers and funny, too, of course.

But, I think it could happen some day. And long-time Mac users are completely unprepared emotionally to handle a serious virus on their machines.

eelixduppy




msg:4125689
 1:16 pm on May 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good points.

You are right in that computer security has to address issues surrounding the "human factor" when it comes to preventing threats; just look at phishing, for example, that relies solely on tricking someone into disclosing information. Likewise, if someone is going to do something that allows malicious code to run on their computer, it's going to happen irregardless of what operating system they have. Third-party applications also would have some bearing as to whether or not a system is secure on the web (e.g. web browsers and plug-ins).

But regardless of how secure OS X is or isn't, it is still ignorant to think that there is no need to worry about any threats.

weeks




msg:4125703
 2:13 pm on May 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Third-party applications also would have some bearing as to whether or not a system is secure on the web (e.g. web browsers and plug-ins).


Amen. Such as Adobe Reader, for example.

swa66




msg:4125889
 12:41 am on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Security is hardly understood at all by the masses, let alone by corporate elbow-working managers. It's better to leave that argument out of the boardroom and let security and risk management teams deal with that how they see fit.

But second point however is FAR more important to convince a board:

Second, it was awesome to have stuff "just work."...
This is directly translatable into "a Mac makes your employees much more productive". And that's easy to translate into $$ and hence something they'll grasp and run with provided you get the chance to prove it.

Many corporations do have macs. In limited numbers for specific tasks: e.g. user support, webmaster tasks, graphic design, ... often you'll find at least one mac -often a machine twice the age of any PC they have-.
The argument the PC supporting staff has against letting you test the efficiency of switching to mac are:
- resistance to change
- lack of central administration (it can be done, but they don't know how due to their limited exposure, they do know how to do it for wintendo machines)

So getting that fixed requires you to find some that are open minded to support the test, best to look for external support and make sure the internal IT folks do not sabotage it all.

Kicking MSFT out can be done. Small companies are easiest. Hardest part is the last windows license (e.g. Finance/HR or so might have a "needs windows" requirement for something they have no choice but to use); Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMWare Fusion can fix that for you -be it a bit of a dirty way to do things- and then there's Office: there is a way to open docs, but the formats are so badly documented that the compatibility between the real thing and the alternatives really is below par.
Switching to a pdf-only way of working can help here, but it's not easy when your partners assume -wrongly- everybody uses windows.
Most I've seen give in and buy Office 2008 -which does still have a proper menu instead of that hated "ribbon" you cannot get rid of in 2007.

Being MSFT free is not easy, but it's also not easy to be mac free, so expect a windows machine or two to remain even if you go for "'mac only" as a manner of vision. Funnily enough it's less areas that need a mac in windows-only setting that need a windows machine in a mac-only environment.

StoutFiles




msg:4125909
 2:25 am on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

First, it was great to not worry about antivirus protection....It was strangely odd to bank, check my credit card and shop online without really worrying about the security...

Second, it was awesome to have stuff "just work."...


This sounds like a person whose never used a computer before but has had one described to them by watching the "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" commercials.

Cameron's areas of expertise include network management, data security, content distribution networks, PKI, and asset deployment and tracking.


Data security is obviously NOT one of Cameron's supposed areas of expertise since he thinks transactions on a Mac are rock solid. Also the "just works" line is supposed to be for people fairly new to computers, not people who have a extensive background with computers.

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