Users of Apple computers encounter cyber threats just as often as the users of other platforms, according to research conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International. They may even face more examples of some types of threat. Although it is true that security experts have not, thus far, found as much harmful software for OS X as they have for other platforms like Windows, this does not mean that Mac devices and the data stored on them are somehow immune to risks.
The survey showed that 24% of users who said that Apple desktops were their main devices for accessing Internet and 10% of users who prefered Apple laptops reported that they had encountered malware during the year. The number of affected PC owners is slightly higher at 32%. However, malware such as ransomware was faced by 13% of Mac owners compared with 9% of Windows users. There is a similar situation with threats targeting financial data: these incidents were reported by 51% of OS X users and 43% of Windows users.
According to the survey, Mac users are generally less aware of Internet threats than Windows users. For example, 39% of MacBook owners have never or hardly heard of ransomware, and 30% do not know about dangerous malicious programs that can exploit vulnerabilities in software. By comparison, among all respondents 33% know almost nothing about ransomware and 28% are unaware of exploits.
The survey shows that half of Mac users still neglect the need for Internet security solutions on their devices: only 47% of MacBook and 59% of Apple desktop computers are protected. Moreover, when Apple users do choose a security solution for their devices more of them (41%) make price their top priority, compared with 36% who consider the quality of malware detection. In third place is the impact the solution has on the performance of the device (33%). As a comparison, Windows users put malware detection efficiency in first place (47%), the cost of the solution in second place (42%), and the ability of the solution to combat web threats comes third (31%).
“OS X users have long lived in isolation from the dangers of the Internet so they may feel almost invulnerable, but as cyber threats today are expanding their areas of operation ever more widely, it is important to be prepared for them. In this regard, Kaspersky Lab strongly recommends Mac users not only to install security solutions but remember the rules of safe behavior on the Web”, said Vladimir Zapolyansky, Vice-President, Product and Technology Marketing, Kaspersky Lab.
[Download PDF]– Consumer Security Risks Survey 2014, B2B International & Kaspersky Lab