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IT says Macs not secure on PC network.. How can I educate them?

Posted on 2004-04-21
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I have an IT manager that will not allow our macs running OS 10.3.3 on the network because he is concerned about security issues. He does not feel the mac will be secure or live well in a PC Banking environment. I have tried to explain to him that they are enately more secure than Windows machines but he is not listening. Is there any evidence that I can steer him to that will support my point and help him see that his worries are invalid. We have over 500 PC's here and 10 Macs all the macs are running Virex.
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Question by:liven2
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weed earned 25 total points
ID: 10885413
Start with this http://www.itweb.co.za/sections/computing/2004/0403090813.asp?A=HOME&O=FPIN

It's talking about OS X Server but Server and OS X User are just re-tuned versions of eachother. No real security differences.

Also should note that there are 0, yes, 0 virii for OS X. Yes, i'll repeat that. ***0 virii for OS X*** You don't need virex and you dont need to worry about nasty virii. There is now 1 trojan for OS X but you'd have to be downloading MP3s from a dodgy source to be concerned about it.
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by:heteronymous
heteronymous earned 25 total points
ID: 10889367
Sorry, but MS-IT in a case like this is Mis-Information Trash.

There is not one aspect of Mac OS X client that is less secure than any existing Windows client, in any way shape or form.

Since this is a "banking environment" I sincerely hope he has installed & administers appropriate security measures, and if he has done so, then he needs to drop his tech-voodoo-fud.

Have him look here, if he wants to block any Apple-specific ports/services
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106439

PS: I work with all of Windows, OS X, Linux and Unix on a regular basis. While I am biased against Windows, it is only by way of having worked with it long enough to appreciate all the things it is not.
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by:Peter Loobuyck
ID: 10916384
seems to me that the least secure os widely available now is windows... Me being a mac unix, windows user as well...
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Expert Comment

by:flcracker
ID: 10969682
I'm the CTO for a Bank in GA. we have 5 locations and are a 180million dollar bank. (liven2 that should mean something to you)
I use Unix/Linux for our Proxy-Firewall(s) and a Mac for our Mail server. I also use an OSX server as one (not the only one) of the means for backing up all of our data from check images to Treev report data to user files. Why? well if and when we get a virus .....say we didn't catch it the first day! well all the Windows backup solutions we use could be at risk right! like a virus that deletes and formats the HD.....Well that virus would not work on the Mac Storage solution right. So we would be able to recover that data from the Mac....Cool right! ...We'll I'm just open minded about Tech and computers!
I get a 1 rating everytime the State and FDIC audit me. (That's the best rating!) The IT auditors love the way I use the differant types of systems
The Mac's should be the least of his worries....do you use MS IE and Outlook on the PC's or worse Norton Virus protection...
there are so many holes in the MS products that we use products like FireFox from http://www.mozilla.org/ 
and if your using Norton! everytime a good virus is passed around the first thing it does is disables the virus software!
I use a virus program called AVG from Grisoft  http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php  It's solid!!!
With all that said I don't know of web sites to help you directly. But I have a Mac on my desk at work and so does the President of the bank and the COO.
We have never ever had a problem with security or crashing the network! Everyone's always asking why can't we all have Mac's you never have problems with them! :(  answer is: it's a Micro$oft hole filled world! My job security :)
I'm a MCSE but I love the MAC!
      in closing look at these other holes in the network I mentioned ....they are well documented!
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by:rmcferren
ID: 12899070
One Word, UNIX.  Mac OSX is a UNIX operating system, has been since the beginning.  If you IT person does not beleive that this makes it more secure, just have him look up how many security problems there are for UNIX.  It is less than 50, so Mac OSX should not have many problems.
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by:heteronymous
ID: 14346472
My final statement would be this:

It is foolish and misguided to judge out of limited user-experience. Mac OS X is not a panacea, but does by design avoid many of the inherent problems of Windows-based systems, and is totally immune to the ever-persistent barrage of Windows exploits.

To date there is no known virus for OS X. Having said that, due prudence should be observed. While Mac OS X is entirely immune to Windows viruses, many prefer to implement an anti-virus solution on Mac clients, in order to catch an avoid re-transmission of infected files (ie: email attachments). Virex has been rather problematic. Many report total satisfaction with the Mac OS X products from Sophos http://www.sophos.com/products/es/endpoint-server/sav-mac.html 

Please note that I have no afilliation with Sophos in any way.

Those who are knowledgeable of - and comfortable with - and open-source solution, go with clamav

Other practices to observe (of course): make regular backups of key data. Keep the OS up to date, Apple has aggressively resolved issues that have been noted in the area of security. However, most of those potential problems have all been local-only issues (someone had to be sitting at the computer).

One useful tip is to run Disk Utility (in Applications/Utilities) , select the internal drive, and run "Repair Permissions", before an Apple update.
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