Rise in Remote MacOS Workers Driving Cybersecurity 'Rethink'

Rise in Remote MacOS Workers Driving Cybersecurity 'Rethink'
With twice as much malware now targeting Macs, IT pros need to scramble to adapt to a large, and likely permanent, work-from-home population, experts say.

With millions of people working from home due to the pandemic, the incidence of adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) is rising much faster on Macs, and Mac-based companies are encountering similar cybersecurity issues to their Windows-based counterparts, according to IT and security experts presenting at the annual Jamf Nation Users Conference (JNUC) this week.

Historically, Mac users and their companies haven't had to worry nearly as much about malware as Windows users, but working from home has highlighted issues in managing remote Mac users. Many IT and security teams, however, haven't had to deal with the issues of managing technology for a zero-touch workforce, said Ed Joras, business development specialist at CDW, an IT solutions firm,during the virtual conference.


"The landscape has changed, and that will require a complete rethink of cybersecurity," he says. "We took all those people who work from the office and now they are at home, and they all became targets the minute that that happened." 


In a presentation on managing remote workers securely, Joras estimated that 25% to 35% of office workers will work from home for the foreseeable future. Rather than expending resources on creating cubicle farms, companies will focus on finding better ways to provision those workers, he said, noting that executives are increasingly describing the situation as "show up when you want to" (SUWYWT).


In terms of cybersecurity, that means focusing on Mac users as much as the devices, Joras said.


"When this settles out, a large group of users are not coming back t ..