Three new antivirus apps debut for the Mac

David Chartier
3 November, 2010
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With the Mac becoming increasingly popular, the risk of malware and viruses potentially increases. There was a scare last week with the Koobface/Boonana trojan (which was either minor or critical depending on who you believe). With all that in mind, Sophos, ESET, and Trend Micro have all released new security software products for the Mac.

Sophos, which typically focuses on security products for the enterprise, has released Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition. (Say that three times fast, I dare you.) It’s a new free antivirus client for the Mac that promises protection against viruses, trojans, and worms – “even those designed for Windows”.

ESET, which makes a variety of security products for home, business, and mobile devices, has also announced that it will soon release a Mac client. ESET Cybersecurity for Mac looks to be a doppelgänger of ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4 for Windows. Like that Windows product, the Mac client will offer yearly subscriptions, controls to block the use of hardware like USB or CD/DVD drives, a submission system for reporting files, and more. Recognising that “the human element is often the weakest link,” ESET also offers a set of educational resources, accessible only through the Mac client, to help users help themselves.

The company has also released ESET NOD32 Antivirus Business Edition for Mac, a version of its client that meets certain security regulations for businesses and allows IT administrators to now monitor Mac clients in addition to Windows and Linux clients. The home edition of ESET Cybersecurity for Mac will be available online later in November for US$40. Business users should contact ESET for pricing.

Finally, Trend Micro has announced Worry-Free Business Security 7, a new version of its network-based security solution for small- and medium-sized businesses. The advanced version of of WFBS7 offers protection for Mac clients.

As other Mac security vendors have had to admit, all three of these vendors acknowledge that, while Mac malware is technically feasible, the threat of it may not be immediate or pervasive. As part of its sales pitch, for example, Sophos cites such less-than-imminent threats as those pirated iWork ’09 installers that contained trojan horses. Trend Micro reminds us that even Apple has said that Mac users should have some kind of malware-detection software at hand.

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