Any IT admin will tell you that group policy objects for Mac systems would be helpful. The issue is that traditional Group Policy Objects (GPOs) are Microsoft® constructs designed exclusively for Windows® based IT resources.
This limitation can present a major challenge for modern IT organizations, especially for Mac shops. The question that is often asked is whether there is a cross-platform system management solution that can manage Windows, Mac®, and Linux® systems.
The short answer is that cross-platform GPO-like capabilities for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems come standard with the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform. The longer answer is what we will discuss in this blog post. Let’s dive in!
What are GPOs?
GPOs are essentially templated scripts, commands, and policies designed to control Windows system behaviors. They are commonly used to disable USB storage, configure screen lock timeout, restrict control panel access, and a lot more.
GPOs are typically deployed remotely from the Active Directory console. This enables IT admins to control system policies from one central management platform.
However, perhaps the greatest advantage is that GPOs can be applied to groups of systems at once. In fact, they can be leveraged to help manage an entire fleet of systems – but only if they are Windows-based.
Limitations of GPOs
The fact that GPOs are exclusive to Windows systems is an issue for modern IT organizations because the popularity of Mac and Linux systems has grown exponentially since the mid-2000s.
According to ComputerWorld, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future as Macs become the new standard for enterprise systems.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to do GPOs for Mac from Active Directory. Sure, you can purchase third party solutions that integrate with AD that can create the equivalent of GPOs for Mac and Linux machines. But that takes extra time, effort, and resources. Not to mention that those solutions further entrench you on-prem along with Active Directory.
The Future of GPOs
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/group-policy-objects-mac-systems/