Mac Attacks Back: 9 Hot Security Products

Bad news for Mac users. From a MacSweeper virus that wreaked havoc last December to a recently detected rare Mac Trojan exploiting an Apple vulnerability, the rash of viruses and exploits attacking the Mac aren't going away any time soon. While once Mac users could enjoy a relatively secure, virus-free existence, changing times have forced them to beef up security to protect against a barrage of viruses, Trojans and other malware, all aimed squarely at their machines. And experts say that as the marketshare for Mac increases, users will likely see even more attacks launched on their computers.

On the cutting edge of the curve, the following vendors have launched an array of solutions aimed specifically for the Mac platform.

Yes, even Macs can become the victim of data loss. So PGP's latest release, Whole Disk Encryption 9.9, this time belongs to the Mac family. As more enterprises adopt the Mac platform for day-to-day business, they become more at risk for an upsurge of security threats that now are targeted specifically for the Mac. The solution features a pre-boot authentication for both Tiger and Leopard operating systems.

In addition, PGPs Whole Disk Encryption is operated from a single, integrated management console that can also interoperate with Windows environments, as well as the OS X -- the product is the only one available for both platforms that is FIPS 140-2 validated by the U.S. government. The solution is currently scheduled to ship in July.

Like all Operating Systems, the Mac is not immune to vulnerabilities. As the Mac grows in popularity so too does the attention from attackers -- which is why those at Core Security Technologies have designed a scanner allowing IT administrators to perform penetration tests on the Mac OS to help determine and analyze the security of the Mac machines installed in a business environment.

This image to the left depicts a Penetration Test in progress against a network made up of Mac machines. The center of the screen displays all the Mac devices that have been discovered. Those devices that have a 'plus' mark to the left of their IP address have an exploitable vulnerability that Core Security's Penetration Tester has discovered and leveraged to gain control of the OS. In the upper right hand corner, you can see the log of the Pen Testers activities depicting the tests that have been performed against those machines.

To be fully protected, enterprises and organizations need to secure every laptop and desktop on their network -- including Macs. Check Point Full Disk Encryption for the Mac OS X is easy to deploy and scales to any size organization. The full-disk encryption solution offers pre-boot authentication, which requires username and password before the operating system loads.

It also features increased security and centralized management that simplifies setup and administration. It also offers a multi-certified cryptography engine, addressing compliance to state and federal privacy laws. Plus, the solution's automatic and transparent operation has minimal effect on end user productivity.

It's simple, fast and non-intrusive. And the VirusBarrier protects Macs from all known viruses by examining all read or written files, while analyzing suspicious activity on applications or other files. If a virus is found, the VirusBarrier jumps to repair files immediately, displays an alert or sequesters files into a quarantined zone, depending on the severity of the bug.

Altogether, VirusBarrier X5 offers a new interface, conducts real-time and on-demand virus scanning, proactively analyzes behavior, repairs infected files, offers multiple scheduled or automatic scans, scans and repairs e-mails, and features a contextual menu and improved logging for more comprehensive scan analysis.

Norton AntiVirus Dual Protection for Mac features vulnerability protection technology and antivirus for users running both Leopard OSX and Windows operating systems. The Mac AV solution provides protection for Boot Camp or Windows virtualization software -- programs that allow users to run both Leopard OS X and Windows operating systems -- from both Mac and Windows-based vulnerabilities and viruses.

Mac-lovers can also use Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac -- which automatically detects and removes viruses in addition to scanning and cleaning downloaded files and e-mail attachments. The complete AV solution includes antivirus and vulnerability protection of Norton AntiVirus 2008 for Windows.

The rash of viruses targeting the Mac platform can only be combated with an antivirus for the Mac. That's why PC Tools announced the launch of iAntiVirus BETA Edition, an anti-virus and anti-spyware tool, designed specifically for the Mac operating system. The new tool provides real-time protection and comprehensive system scanning, and is designed to detect and remove Mac-specific threats.

Altogether, the new iAntiVirus detects and removes viruses, spyware, keyloggers, Trojans and those highly targeted socially engineered threats, which can replicate through instant messenger and P2P file sharing applications -- usually unbeknownst to the victim. Incidentally, the upcoming release follows closely on the heels of Apple's recommendation to install and use antivirus software to scan files, which it outlines in its Security Configuration Guide.

Among its many capabilities, WatchGuard's Firebox X is designed to protect and help neutralize Java security threats for Mac OS X 10.4x users. The Firebox addresses the most dangerous and prevalent form of vulnerabilities -- attack via a malicious Web site -- which stealthily infects users and can be used to silently steal sensitive personal or financial information from their computers.

The secret sauce? The Firebox embeds its Application Proxy Technology into the security device, which eliminates threats at the application layer and prevents numerous Mac-specific attacks that are generally missed by signature-based devices. The Application Proxy technology re-routes Web traffic through an application-layer proxy, which then separates user Web traffic from the Web-source. By doing so, the technology allows the WatchGuard Firebox X appliance to inspect all Web-based traffic, and eliminate malicious Java-based exploits on the Mac before they become more severe.

Who says there's no such thing as an all in one solution? The Sophos Endpoint Security and Control 8.0, enables businesses that span the segments to access their antivirus, antispyware, host intrusion prevention, application control, NAC and firewall protection in one product. The Endpoint Security and Control 8.0 device, which is geared for all platforms, ensures that all managed, unmanaged and guest computers are updated with the latest company policies and running authorized software applications.

For the SMB and mid-tier space, the device's Enterprise Console simplifies and automates management of all platforms, including Mac, by centralizing deployment, updating, reporting and enforcing security policies. In addition, the console also manages antivirus and client firewall protection, as well as endpoint assessment and control.

With rampant identity theft, even Mac users will need to safeguard their confidential information from online cyber criminals. Norton Confidential for Macintosh is designed to protect users when they're most vulnerable: while banking or shopping online, in addition to submitting passwords, account numbers or other private information.

Prior to login, a credit card purchase, or other online transaction, Norton Confidential for Macintosh automatically inspects Web sites for known threats and suspicious behavior while protecting social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other confidential data from becoming exposed, "phished," or stolen by identity thieves. The identity solution for Mac also lets users lock down any personally important or sensitive files from unauthorized access.