Things used to be simpler when we could think of the Mac as a more or less malware-free platform, but following the spread of the Flashback trojan, the company isn’t taking security so lightly these days. One example of Cupertino's new line of thinking is the addition of a Security Update system in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Developer documentation for the new OS (which arrives next month) indicates that Mountain Lion Macs will get a more secure connection to Apple's update servers, using it to phone home daily for security updates. Users will be able to choose whether to install the updates automatically or on the next restart.
The changes fit with the new PowerNap feature in Mountain Lion, which lets second generation MacBook Airs and Retina Display MacBook Pros download software while otherwise asleep. Currently, Macs running OS X 10.7 Lion check for security updates weekly by default, and while the updates download automatically they require user interaction to install. Consequently, a lot of people routinely ignore the current Software Update notifications, and the new system should help both simplify the update process and speed up the adoption of critical software releases.