As the rising tide of malware begins to sweep over the Mac, as well as Windows and other operating systems, Apple has begun changing its tune with respect to information security.
Whereas the Cupertino, California-based company has long claimed that Macs are not susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers, Apple has now extended its security-related messaging toward a stronger connection with technological differentiators, most notably involving “Gatekeeper,” the company’s new OS X Mountain Lion security feature that is slated for release in July. Gatekeeper is intended to enable OS X developers to digitally sign their apps as a means of defending against malware.
The first Mac botnet, which exploited a Java vulnerability, became hot news in April and could easily be the reason why the shift in messaging occurred, though no such confirmation has ever been issued by Apple.
“Apple is growing up,” said Alex Bichuch, managing partner of IP ConnectX Corp., a Toronto, Ontario-based channel partner. “They are transitioning from the arrogant kid who thought he was invincible to a much more realistic assessment of their limitations. They are clearly recognizing the need for enhanced security in their devices because the boundary between business use and personal use is becoming blurred.”
Other partners are openly calling for Apple to engage a wide variety of business allies in order to get a more broad range of expertise applied to the company’s security needs.
“Security is becoming a much more important theme for Apple,” said Brian Columbus, Director of Client Solutions at Liquid Networx, a San Antonio, Texas-based channel partner. “Now that they’re getting targeted more frequently by malware, they need to begin taking more proactive measures to combat the problem. Perhaps they should start working with partners in this area. From a psychological perspective, bringing more people into the process tends to suggest that you have less to fear. So I think there are things they can learn from the Microsoft experience.”
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