Just when you thought Mac OS X was safe and secure, there’s a barrage of… virus protection software makers.
Which is more dangerous? The virus, or the innoculation? Guess who says you need protection?
Despite the scares of last week’s trojan horses, and OS X exploit vulnerabilities (one of which was fixed last year, the other is easily fixed in two seconds, and my practicing Safe Downloads), the Mac has become a target again.
For all intents and purposes, it’s nearly impossible to protect a Mac from a trojan horse. Why? Trojans rely on human intervention; downloading or opening a file without knowing the sender or the contents.
That’s a sure recipe for disaster, and there’s not many software applications to protect the user from the user.
The security folks at Sohos and Symantec and Intego and Trend Micro, and elsewhere, sell software to guard computers and networks against the threat and damage of malware; viruses, worms, trojan horses, etc.
They have a vested financial interest in spreading a little fear among Mac users.
As we saw in last week’s news headlines, malware is out there for the Mac. More will come.
What can you do to protect you and your computer and your files?
If Sophos and Symantec have a say, you’ll buy products from them to give you and your computer more protection.
Of course, none of the major or minor virus protection services could have protected any Mac user from the recent so-called outbreaks of malware for Mac OS X.
That begs the question, “Why bother?” Why worry about protection until there’s something to protect against?
That’s a valid point, and a simple answer isn’t easy.
Sophos is the latest to offer anti-virus software for Mac OS X.
What does it do?
“Sophos Anti-Virus provides integrated cross-platform virus detection on Macintosh servers, desktops and laptops. Our powerful Sophos virus detection engine scans all potential entry points for potential threats, and also detects non-Mac viruses that could be harbored on Mac computers.”
What does it cost? That’s easier to ask than it is to get Sophos to tell you. We’re still waiting for a quote. Why? Here’s what Sophos has to say:
“Your request is now being dealt with and you will hear back from the Sophos team shortly.” That was then and this is now. So far, silence.
Thanks. It’s reassuring to know that the people who claim I need virus protection are willing to jump into action immediately and provide me with their so-called solution.
It looks to me as though Sophos and Symantec and many other virus makers make their money selling to one (or both) of these two entities; Windows users, Windows business users.
Mac users might be a future market, but for now, we’re an afterthought. How can I tell?
About virus reporting capability of their anti-virus for Mac OS X, Sophos says, “Every virus incident is automatically reported to the administrator, making day-to-day management even easier.”
Uh, administrator? See what I mean?
Virus protection is a serious issue and Mac users need to be concerned.
But it all boils down to three basic issues; need and trust and results.
Do we need what the malware protectors are selling? Can we trust them to provide us with protection? What do the results show so far?
As to the need, there are still no viruses of substance to report; same with worms; both of which could be dangerous to Mac users.
Will the malware protectors provide Mac users with protection before said malware strikes? Thus far, they have not. Finally, what do the results show so far?
FUD. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt emanating from malware protectors.
It’s the FUD I want to remove, and it’s protection I want to have. For now, common sense and Mac OS X seem to be doing a better job than the malware protectors.
update – I finally received a response from Sophos regarding their anti-virus software for Mac OS X. Four days after my query for pricing. It was just an email response. No price, and a curt “Please call me.”