1.6 Ensure Install Security Responses and System Files Is Enabled


Ensure that system and security updates are installed after they are available from Apple. This setting enables definition updates for XProtect and Gatekeeper. With this setting in place, new malware and adware that Apple has added to the list of malware or untrusted software will not execute. These updates do not require reboots or end user admin rights.

Apple has introduced a security feature that allows for smaller downloads and the installation of security updates when a reboot is not required. This feature is only available when the last regular update has already been applied. This feature emphasizes that a Mac must be up-to-date on patches so that Apple's security tools can be used to quickly patch when a rapid response is necessary.


Patches need to be applied in a timely manner to reduce the risk of vulnerabilities being exploited.


Unpatched software may be exploited.


Graphical Method:
Perform the following steps to enable system data files and security updates to install automatically:

Open System Settings

Select General

Select Software Update

Select the i

Set Install Security Responses and System files to enabled

Select Done

Terminal Method:
Run the following commands to enable automatic checking of system data files and security updates:

$ /usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate ConfigDataInstall -bool true

$ /usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CriticalUpdateInstall -bool true

Profile Method:
Create or edit a configuration profile with the following information:

The PayloadType string is com.apple.SoftwareUpdate

The key to include is ConfigDataInstall

The key must be set to <true/>

The key to also include is CriticalUpdateInstall

The key must be set to <true/>

See Also


Item Details


References: 800-53|RA-5, 800-53|RA-5(2), 800-53|SI-2, 800-53|SI-2(2), CSCv7|3.4, CSCv7|3.5

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