Jamf beefs up enterprise security software for Mac

Network threat prevention, muscular analytics, and BYOD management are among new features offered in app suite.

A maker of enterprise software for Apple's ecosystem has announced a half-dozen new products and enhancements. Jamf maintained the new offerings would help organisations create an enterprise-secure, consumer-simple environment that protects personal privacy.

Three new features were added to the company's endpoint and network security platform, Jamf Protect. 

They include network threat protection, which allows endpoints to report network-based indicators of compromise, comprehensive logging of endpoint and network security events, and removable storage controls to ensure that sensitive data is written to USB mass media drives.

Those features create three key touch points to collect security-relevant data, Jamf Vice President for Product Strategy Michael Covington tells CSO. "We're making all that information available to security teams to give them visibility into what these devices are doing day-in and day-out."

"That's been a blind spot when it comes to Macs in the past," Covington continues. "There's a lot of good tools for the Windows-minded CISO to get deep into the kernel, to extract signals from the device. We haven't had those tools for the Mac."

Another new app, Jamf Trust, will work across all Apple's operating systems, as well as with Android and Windows, and makes it easier for end-users to work with the company's security programs, and a new internet and network safety offering, Jamf Safe Internet, combines content filtering and network threat prevention to block unsafe and malicious content.

A single dashboard, catalog of vetted applications

Another new offering, Jamf Fundamentals, adds new capabilities to its device management technology for protecting, connecting, and empowering small to mid-sized businesses with features such as malware prevention, password sync, and self-service functionality.

Jamf also unveiled a new BYOD workflow that preserves personal privacy by preventing IT from having too much control over an employee's device yet addresses IT concerns by allowing them to adequately manage and secure the device while it's accessing company resources.

In addition, a feature called App Installers has been added to the Jamf App Catalog offering. The feature simplifies for IT the task of installing and updating macOS applications not found in Apple's App Store. 

"We give the business one dashboard where there's a catalog of applications that we've curated, vetted, and approved," Covington says, "and another dashboard that shows what applications are in use in their fleet, what might need updates, and through that one console action all the changes that need to happen across devices."

"It automates the monitoring and the download of applications into the business and makes it much easier for IT to get the apps updated on their endpoints so users are always using the most up-to-date version of the app," Covington adds.

The Mac now a convergence point for enterprise applications

While not the largest player in the enterprise space, some developments have accelerated Mac adoption there in the last two years, Covington says. One of those developments is Apple silicon. "A lot of businesses are looking at the performance they can get from Apple silicon and viewing it as a very acceptable platform for their businesses," he notes.

Another development is the support of iOS on macOS machines, as well as the ability to run Windows in a browser on a Mac. 

"You suddenly have the Mac as a convergence point for applications in the enterprise, which can make it super compelling for a lot of businesses looking for a one-stop shop for the different services that they want to run," Covington says.

The pandemic has also played a role in Mac gaining access to the enterprise. 

"When people were forced to work from home, businesses said, use what you have," Covington explains. "In many cases, the consumer device of choice was the Mac, and that's what people have been working on for the last two years. It really changed the tide in Apple's favour."