Poll: Where do you think Apple is with respect to the security aspects of macOS?

On another thread, the subject of the security of macOS and Safari versus other platforms arose. Since there are choices for browsers, I have chosen not to consider them for this poll. Please indicate where you believe Apple is with respect to the security of macOS compared to other platforms (Linux, Windows, etc). I think it would be fair to compare macOS to iOS/iPadOS as well. Relevant comments are, of course, welcome.

  • macOS is way ahead of other platforms
  • macOS is ahead of other platforms
  • macOS is about even with other platforms
  • macOS is behind other platforms
  • macOS is way behind other platforms

0 voters

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I think macOS is ahead of other desktop platforms, especially with the introduction of Catalina (as painful as that has been). Although I am a developer, I don’t participate in beta testing, so I was really surprised when Catalina introduced the read-only OS filesystem. Another ambituous security feature is the Notarization process. I think it remains to be seen how that works out.

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Sorry to ask, but WRT stands for?

WRT = “with respect to”

Thanks :blush:
20 character are the minimum length of a post, in case you don’t know

I think Windows and macOS have acceptable and overall equivalent security, and both can be battened down with supplementary free and commercial utilities. Miocrosoft Defender has turned into a powerfully capable product.

I know a few CISOs and security consultants and they work on Macs, Windows, and Linux machines. The more paranoid one I know, a ‘red team’ hacker, uses a hardened version of Linux running apps in a virtual machine, plus uses a YubiKey whenever possible… but then he’s potentially a target of state-based hackers.

Everyone I know who knows something about mobile security personally uses an iPhone, and consider most Android hardware/software combos (and the slowness of OS updates) to be “a rubbish fire” as one said to me.

And they all have Signal accounts. And I think they all use Gmail.

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My poll answer is about the same. I think it depends on whether you mean technically more secure or safer to use.

Technical security:

I think that Microsoft has been quicker to implement technical security mechanisms in Windows than Apple has in macOS. Apple’s patching cadence is somewhat problematic in that they tend to (but don’t always) tie security updates to feature releases. (The flip side of this is that users aren’t as subject to update fatigue as they can be with Windows).

Apple is also hampered here by their insistence on a yearly major release cycle.

Safety:

Apple makes it less painful to do the right thing as far as privacy and security go. This is an important aspect, and in my experience, often overlooked. All the technical security in the world won’t be effective if people feel like they have to fight the system in order to use it.

Apple also makes it really easy to effectively back up your data, which is another often overlooked aspect of security.

Me:

I manage cybersecurity for my organization; I use Macs, but mostly for usability (Spaces, Mission Control, Unix, general It Just Works). I would have no issues with using Windows from a security perspective.

Was Mac OS ever technically more secure than Windows or was it more of the case of it have a smaller install base to where most exploits weren’t worth taking advantage due to the limited number of them, especially in work environments.

Depends - first define the term “technically more secure”!

Not sure how to answer this poll, since I can only go with what I see. I use macOS and Windows 10 personally, and have had no known issues in years with either. I voted “about the same”. Interesting that most folks voted “Apple better” – I wonder how much of that opinion is based on what the commentariat says versus hard fact.

I work with a number of federal agencies, all of which focus on stopping bad actors at the outer edge of the network. Device security is important and highly managed of course, but the goal is to stop issues before they get to devices. That sort of approach is broader than “macOS vs Windows vs Linux”.

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Now you have me curious about which federal agencies :slight_smile:

The ones the government runs :laughing:

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Which government would that be?

Check the flags next to their names.

The air of apologetic superiority we both exude should also give a clue :innocent:

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