Mac® Management Policies

Being able to implement Mac® management policies is a key skill set in the modern IT admins’ toolbox. With more Macs cropping up in organizations than ever before, managing Mac systems has grown into a critical priority for IT organizations. Unfortunately, for reasons we’ll discuss below, this has been easier said than done in the space of IT management tools.

Circumventing Microsoft® Lock-in

Microsoft Active Directory

As you probably know, IT networks have historically been predominantly Microsoft® Windows®-based, using Microsoft Active Directory® and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM, formerly SMS) to automate and employ administrative tools. These solutions enabled IT admins to manage user access and the Windows devices themselves. The benefit of a Windows domain for end users was that they were able to login to their machine and access virtually any Windows resources they had rights to. Using Group Policy Objects (GPOs), IT admins could tightly manage fleets of Windows systems, making it a win-win for everybody. But, the IT environment was shifting, and a whole ecosystem of IT management tools have since emerged to solve the specific challenges facing IT organizations restricted by Microsoft.

The Need for Mac Management Policies

mac management with active directory

Nothing gold can stay, as they say, and the challenges started to emerge when end users took to using Mac and Linux® systems. At first, IT admins simply ignored these machines. They told the end users those machines would be unmanaged, and IT wasn’t responsible for them. This “not-my-problem” approach worked for a while, but when changes in the IT landscape at large shifted with cloud infrastructure (e.g. AWS®), web applications, Samba file servers/NAS appliances, and much more, Active Directory really had to turn and face the music.

What’s worse is AD didn’t have GPO support for Mac systems, further complicating the issue. IT admins were out of luck for using Mac management policies in the same way they knew for Windows systems.

managed group policy objects

We all know that if IT resources are going to stick around within an organization, naturally, there needs to be an intuitive way to manage them. (Read more...)

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

George Lattimore

George Lattimore

George is a writer at JumpCloud, a central source for authenticating, authorizing, and managing your IT infrastructure through the cloud. With a degree in Marketing and a graduate degree in progress in Public Communications and Technology, George enjoys learning how the IT landscape is adapting to a diversified field of technology.

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