From the moment I first started using MacOS X, I fell in love. It was like my long-time favorite Macintosh <= v9 had spawned with my other love, NeXTStep, to create an exquisite underlying
The Jurassic Park scene where the girl says “This is a UNIX system! I know this!”? That was me…
In high school, I had read a *NIX book during detention (There was a time when I just didn’t like going to class…), and I consider that experience to be one of the defining moments of my life.
I had been coding sprites since I lost my first teeth, learned BASIC and was already on IRC and BBS’s, but UNIX was a gloriously complex and special thing. We didn’t have Linux back then really, People primarily used FreeBSD and some of the other commercial distros.
I still consider myself a System V fangirl, after paying many years of dues in UNIX Technical Operations for a large managed hosting company. That’s how I got into security, so I’m really a paranoid UNIX admin who happened upon security.
But I digress. UNIX is awesome. And MacOS + *NIX is even awesome-r.
Mac OS X is extremely secure to begin with, with fantastic built-in features such as full-disk encryption with FileVault, a firewall, many sharing and other more risky features disabled by default, and GateKeeper for application protection.
The standard features are great for most people, but remember – I’m paranoid. Security can generally always be improved for any device, system, solution, etc.
When I install a fresh copy of MacOS X, there are certain pieces of software that I absolutely must install, and most are security tools.
I’ve compiled a list of the security software I tend to install on every Mac I use. These vary from network firewalls to monitoring of specific IOCs (indicators of compromise).
I’m not affiliated with any of these companies (that I know of), these are just awesome tools I recommend.
You’re perfectly okay only using stock Mac OS X, as these tools are mostly monitoring tools for the truly paranoid. E.g. The Mac OS X Firewall works perfectly fine, but there are tools that offer additional functionality. These tools may also adversely affect performance, because they are constantly watching.