What is Mac® User Management?

User management is a core activity for virtually all IT organizations. Having a good user management solution in place makes it incredibly easier to secure user access to valuable company digital assets like systems. For a long time, Microsoft® Windows® dominated the desktop market share. Recently, though, Macs® have become a preferred alternative, so what is Mac user management? How does it relate to the rest of an IT organization’s identity management approach? Is there a difference in the way IT can manage Windows users versus Mac users?

These are great questions, and in order to start answering them, we need to gain some context.  

The Rise of Windows, Active Directory®, and Macs

If you know your computer history, then you are well aware of the fact that Apple was the first company to release an affordable computer that utilized a graphical user interface (GUI). This revolutionary move was quickly copied by Microsoft, and due to a series of unfortunate mishaps in the Apple world, Microsoft Windows® became the dominating force it’s known as today.

Microsoft introduced Active Directory in 1999 to control Windows users and systems. Of course, Microsoft had no interest in supporting Mac® or Linux® users and systems. This made a lot of sense for the longest time because there were so few Mac and Linux machines within an organization. So, Microsoft continued to lock-in their customers to Windows and Active Directory.

After Apple faced a series of poor choices and mistakes, Steve Jobs came back in 1997 to revitalize the company. Over the years, Macs got better; the iPhone was introduced; iPads became popular; and end users started to move to Apple products in droves. Active Directory struggled with this IT transformation, so IT admins largely left Macs unmanaged.

The Cons of Not Managing Macs

Why is it a bad idea to leave Macs and Mac users unmanaged? Well, first, this means Mac users can do whatever they want with their Macs. End users are in control of who can access their machine, the complexity (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/what-is-mac-user-management/

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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