What it is: The latest iMac Pro includes a T2 ARM-based processor for handling extra security.
The latest iMac Pro is not only the fastest Macintosh on the market, but it may also be the most secure. One huge problem with desktop operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux is that they are mostly designed back in the innocent days when security wasn’t much of a problem. As soon as malicious hackers started exploiting computers, security became a bolted-on afterthought that would never be as good as an operating system designed from scratch with security in mind.
While most malware targets Windows, a growing number of malware is targeting macOS (and Linux to a lesser extent). Apple introduced the idea of a Mac App Store to help curate trusted programs but it’s still easy to download and install software (including malware) from anywhere on the Internet.
Apple did introduce GateKeeper, which tries to block known malicious apps, but since unknown malicious apps appear all the time, GateKeeper can never block all possible malware. Now to increase security on macOS, the latest iMac Pro includes a T2 ARM-based processor that works with the regular Intel processors that power a Macintosh. While the Intel processors focus on running macOS, the T2 processor focuses on storing security data away from the Intel processor. This makes it harder for malware to access data and infect a Macintosh.
This T2 processor isn’t likely unique to the iMac Pro. Current MacBook Pro laptops with the Touch Bar include an earlier T1 ARM-based processor for controlling the Touch Bar. Apple will like include ARM-based processors in future Macintosh models, giving the Macintosh greater security.
No Macintosh will ever be immune from malware. However the T2 and similar ARM-based processors will make the Macintosh a more difficult target to infect. Of course, the best defense against malware is user knowledge so the user doesn’t get tricked into installing malware in the first place. Since not every user can keep up with the rapidly changing malware threat, the T2 ARM-based processor hints of the future of the Macintosh.