I don’t know how many different types of Anti-Virus or security software I have tested over the years. I would guess that it’s in the 20’s. There are a lot of great providers out there, some paid and some free. Those people who have computers but don’t have ANY anti-virus software are destined to a severe, brutal and ugly day of awakening, especially if they are on a Windows PC. There is so much malware, viruses, bots, zombies, trojans and malicious code out there attached to files, images, programs and even websites that it is hard to imaging NOT getting infected.
And I thought that Macs were immune as well. The truth is, most of the effort of hackers has been spent on the PC market which has a dominance in terms of the number of users. But as Macs are increasing in numbers, especially in the corporate workplace AND the fact that Macs can be a conduit of malicious code simply by forwarding on infected attachments, it’s important to think about Mac security software as well. There are fewer numbers of Mac security and A/V software solutions out there and I have used a few. The latest one that I’m using is ESET Cybersecurity for Mac.
I’m not a security specialist, I’m just a power user of computers. But I do know what I like in security software. On the PC side, I like having lots of visible controls, complete with notifications. This type of interaction may not be for everyone though. Some users want their security software to just run in the background and not bother them and simply provide the security and protection. For me, on Windows, I like tweaking and tuning the protection simply because I know that there are lots of different ways that your computer can get compromised.
But on the Mac, it’s completely different. Since my Mac has been relatively free of full-featured security software, mainly because I didn’t think it was truly necessary, I didn’t want a security application that was always “in your face.” ESET works that way. It updates regularly and protects even second of the day but all behind the scenes. And honestly, I have completely forgotten that I have it installed until I get the daily reminder alert that the virus definitions had been updated.
So how was I to review this product? Well, for starters, I haven’t gotten a virus. That is a great sign. And I like the fact that you can, if you want, really enter into more advanced granular protection. This is what the general preference panel looks like:
It’s very clean and easy to understand. But, as you can see with the arrow, there are advanced option that show up as sub-menus below the main ones.
And within the sub-menus, you can get even more granular:
So if I haven’t had a virus or infection (a good thing), what does it look like when you do get something? I asked the folks over at ESET to send me some screenshots.
Here is what an alert looks like:
…log file entries…
…and the quarantine…
…and a pop-up alert.
Since Mac viruses are a relatively new thing, I wanted to get some more information about ESET and their Mac product. So got together some questions which were answered by Jeff Chen, Director of Product Marketing of ESET North America.
Questions and Answers from ESET
1. What is ESET Cybersecurity for Mac?
ESET Cybersecurity for Mac has been specifically designed for Mac from the ground up and utilizes ESET’s ThreatSense antivirus scanning engine, adding extra layers of virus detection to eliminate viruses, as well as staying fast and accurate, and never impacting performance. Additional features include proactive Mac antivirus protection, an intuitive user interface, complimentary Internet Security training, and has a built-in, advanced setup for power-users providing more granular control for scan depth, ESET Cybersecurity Training uses real-world cyber crime scenarios and gives you essential safety tips to make your online experience even safer.
2. How long has ESET been developing application for the Mac? How long has ESET been developing this particular version of Cybersecurity for Mac?
ESET first released ESET Cybersecurity for Mac in the Fall of 2010, after approximately 2 years of development.
3. Is Cybersecurity for Mac a new product? Why Macs now?
Mac viruses exist and are becoming larger and more common, take the Flashback virus for example. Mac threats have been around for quite a while actually — the first Mac OS X malware, a “worm” dubbed OS X Leap A, was identified in 2006. ESET has been providing anti-malware protection to Mac users for some time now: protecting against potential threats from email attachments, the Web and removable media, like USB and FireWire drives as well as CDs. ESET also makes sure you don’t pass along malware to others. ESET provides multiple daily updates – called virus signature database updates – that include most up-to-date protection against latest threats.
4. What makes Cybersecurity for the Mac unique in the marketplace?
ESET is the first and only company in the world with ICSA certification for Mac OS X. ESET Cybersecurity is the only Mac antimalware product to include complimentary online Cybersecurity training. ESET believes Cybersecurity is best achieved through a combination of technology and awareness, which our online training delivers in a way that is user friendly and easy to understand.
5. Your product page says “complete security solution” – however, from my understanding it is only for virus/trojan/malware protection and doesn’t include any firewall or safe surfing protection, correct? Will these features coming in the future to truly make is a “complete security solution?”
Our definition of “complete security solution” relies on the above stated combination security software and awareness and training that is part of our product offering. In many cases, human behavior is the weakest link to getting affected, and our belief is that if we can educate users on how to navigate the Internet safely, they will achieve complete security.
In addition, we are working on expanding our Mac security portfolio with products that feature additional benefits.
6. How frequently are updates pushed out to the application?
Security updates are automatic and happen in real-time several times per day.
7. While other security and anti-virus solutions seem to cause a bit of a resource drain when running, ESET seems to not have any type of impact, how is this achieved?
ESET has been a pioneer in the anti-malware industry for 25 years now. We have been leading the industry in proactive detection using very efficient techniques such as heuristics and generic signatures, which frees our products from relying on large virus signature databases. Our engineering team focuses on delivering exceptional detection while keeping our products very fast, small, and work quietly in the background. ESET understands that our customers did not buy their Macs to run antivirus, but rather to work and play on the Internet and unleash their creativity.
8. What other Mac products does ESET have?
We also offer ESET NOD32 Antivirus Business Edition for Mac OS X for businesses. It protects business from not only malware that target Mac OS X, but also detects and eliminates Windows malware. This ensures that Macs in the workplace cannot be exploited as carriers to infect Windows machines on the network. ESET NOD32 Antivirus Business Edition for Mac OS X helps businesses of all sizes with their compliance challenges.
This product is compatible with ESET Remote Administrator which enables IT administrators to centrally manage all ESET business products, regardless of which operating system they run on.
9. What does ESET have planned for future Mac products?
The next generation of ESET Cyber Security and our new Internet suite product, ESET Cyber Security Pro, are now available free for public beta testing at http://www.eset.com/us/beta/.
Purchase and install. That’s it. You don’t have to do anything else. ESET runs in the background, protecting your Mac. And you really don’t have to do any fancy setup to get it dialed in. The default settings are more than sufficient. Pricing is reasonable, although I wish was a bit lower. You need to decide how many Macs you want protected and if you want a 1 or 2-year protection. 1 year for 1 Mac is $39.99 and 2 years for 5 Macs is $149.99.
Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.
HTD says: Do yourself, your Mac and your digital connections a favor by protecting your Mac with ESET.