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2023 | Book

Hardening Your Macs

Keeping Apple Computers Safe at the Hardware and Software Level

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About this book

Learn the skills and solutions required to secure your Mac's operating system, the underlying hardware, and allow users to get work done safely. This book will show you how to create a Mac that’s made of steel and won’t buckle when attacked!

Ok, there’s no such thing as unhackable. No magic tool or silver bullet will eliminate risk in all forms. Security is an ongoing journey – not a simple action or software application. And that is exactly what you’ll learn to master—the foundational knowledge, skills, and mindset to holistically protect Macs. Regardless of whether it’s your personal iMac or a fleet of MacBook Pro’s assigned to the remote employees within your organization, you’ll be able to limit access while identifying and mitigating risk unique to your environment.

In addition to the information security best practices pertaining to protecting Apple computers, you’ll pivot to a coherent, security-focused mindset to better understand macOS-specific security. You’ll learn how it works and what tools and software are available to help. Both native and 3rd-party tool are covered. Safe guard your system’s privacy data and capitalize on effectively locking down the security of your Mac computers against known threats and newer trends that continue to evolve.

Hardening Your Macs is the perfect roadmap to stopping malicious attacks and bad actors from spying on users through cameras, microphones, and other built-in tools that could potentially be used against users and organizations alike.

What You'll Learn

Grasp the mindset of attackers—how they plan and execute malicious incursionsImplement hardware solutions as well as software safeguardsTake advantage of Apple's built-in macOS security features in addition to 3rd party toolsAvoid attacks on your system that could compromise sensitive corporate data and personally identifiable information

Who This Book Is For

IT admins responsible for managing Mac device security. Additionally users of Apple products that may have some experience using the platform in general but are not versed in security, as well as, those switching from Windows platforms will find useful information here. And anyone that wishes to expand their information security skills and/or develop a security-focused mindset to better protect their personal information and privacy data from the numerous and growing threats in the wild, such as malware and phishing.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Understanding Security

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. Security 101
Abstract
In the 1995 hit anime movie Ghost in the Shell, the main protagonist who goes by the name of Matoko Kusanagi is a cyborg (half-human, half-robot) that finally comes to understand that her life’s essence is greater than the vessel that contains it. Upon discovering this, she states “the net is vast and infinite,” as part of this essence interfaces with the larger online world around her.
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Chapter 2. Risky Business
Abstract
Before you can understand how to implement the proper strategies to protect something, you need to first know what exactly you’re protecting, right? After all, what good is security if you apply the wrong solutions or forget to apply any protection whatsoever to certain devices?
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Chapter 3. A World of Hurt
Abstract
Bad actors, no, not the kind that permeate Hollywood cinema. I’m referring to the ones that actively seek to invade your computing systems and network infrastructure in the hopes of breaching them to obtain sensitive and critical data. Another such term is threat actor. Both are used interchangeably and are synonymous with the more globally recognized term “hacker.” Commonly known to the general masses as describing someone that steals something of value by attacking computer systems.
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Chapter 4. The Mind Stone
Abstract
In this chapter, we’re going to pivot ever so slightly, changing gears from the previous chapter that was focused more on threats and attack types to that of the attackers themselves. To further understand computer security and by extension, protect your Mac from current and surprisingly novel ways that bad actors continue to develop to attack macOS-based devices, one should try to see things as they do.
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Chapter 5. (Return of) the Mac
Abstract
Apple wasn’t always the consumer’s platform of choice. Through the decades, Apple has seen a fluctuation in adoption that has affected its market share. To better understand the current state of security of macOS and gain insight into where its headed, it’s good to revisit Apple’s history because it does play a role in combating misconceptions that linger to this very day.
Jesus Vigo, Jr.

Welcome to the Rock

Frontmatter
Chapter 6. Lock It Down
Abstract
What is meant by the reference, “locking down your computer”?
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Chapter 7. The Outer Limits
Abstract
Securing your Mac occurs when you harden or lock down various settings within your Apple computer. These settings, as mentioned previously, fall into two separate categories that – when combined – make up a comprehensive security plan to keep Mac protected.
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Chapter 8. Inside Job
Abstract
We continue down the path to hardening the settings within your Apple computer – this time we change gears slightly to focus on the internal, or software, side of your Mac.
Jesus Vigo, Jr.

The Spoon Does Not Bend – Only Yourself

Frontmatter
Chapter 9. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Abstract
During my IT career, I’ve met a wide range of individuals with varying levels of experience, expertise, and professionalism. Adding complexity to this are the multitude of different job roles and the tasks I’ve been responsible for completing – both as an individual contributor as well as in a group setting.
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Chapter 10. Have a Plan and Stick to It
Abstract
Just like the previous chapter, this one is also aimed at budding IT professionals and Mac admins. Individual users on their personal devices could certainly benefit from some of the sections included in this chapter, but it will largely be applicable to administrators tasked with managing Apple at the enterprise level.
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
Hardening Your Macs
Author
Jesus Vigo, Jr.
Copyright Year
2023
Publisher
Apress
Electronic ISBN
978-1-4842-8939-6
Print ISBN
978-1-4842-8938-9
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-8939-6

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