I received an email from someone just starting out in security as a chosen career path and had bought a laptop to use purely for research. I don't particularly advocate any one laptop over another, i use a *Macbook for two reasons
1. Resale value
2. The screen is amazing, and my eyesight is getting progressively worse.
I outputted a list of my tools and was surprised at just how much i had customised my device.
- KnockKnock from Patrick Wardle, along with a lot of other tools are available here "KnockKnock... Who's There?" See what's persistently installed on your Mac. KnockKnock uncovers persistently installed software in order to generically reveal malware.
- Little Snitch - Essentially a firewall, but offers usability.
- Hopper - Disassembler for x86/x64 RE - Not free.
- Radare - Another disassembler, my personal preference.
- Brew - It's amazing OSX comes without half these tools, but you'll quickly realised you need them.
- Shodan command line - As above, really is part of everything i do.
- Olevba - Excellent parsing for OLE files, usually MSOffice.
As an addendum, there is an brilliant 'hardening guide' for OSX here
N O T E : this is for beginners, as a more seasoned security researcher you're probably used to seeing these tools and probably shouldn't be reading this.
*Other excellent Laptops are available