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Jul 23, 2020
8 min read
A system administrator would be having an incomplete skill set without the knowledge of Mac device management. The high quality hardware and security perks are just a couple of things that make Mac devices desirable for the corporate environment. Mac device management includes the deployment of the macOS devices to the employees, distributing required apps, content filtering, enforcing security restrictions, and other configurations.
In comparison to PC device management, Mac device management is still a relatively new field. Hence, it is understandable if some things go wrong along the way. Here, we have listed out 5 common things that IT admins could find going wrong while managing their Macs and ways to prevent it from happening.
Apple Profile Manager is Apple’s very own MDM and is a part of macOS server. Profile Manager supports restrictions, payloads, and commands for iOS, macOS and tvOS devices. Profile Manager is actually a great option for new IT admins for testing purposes and comparing the Apple functionalities with third-party vendors.
While Apple Profile Manager can look like a lucrative option at first glance, it is not recommended at all for a production environment. The admins using Profile Manager often face a lot of issues including not pushing the profiles and payloads properly. Remote management is more of a hassle if you have to continually troubleshoot not only the end devices, but also the very tool used for the management of the devices.
Profile Manager is meant to be a tool for testing out the features an MDM can offer. Therefore, it has a lightweight database which is not scalable at all. When the admin has to manage above a hundred devices, the Profile Manager becomes totally unreliable. There is also an additional security risk as it is easily corruptible. If you use the Profile Manager to manage your devices, it is recommended to have a full backup as it is a very unreliable method for managing Mac devices. Going for a solid third-party MDM with Apple Business Manager integration is the best way to manage the macOS devices in the long run.
Scripts are different from other programming languages as it is executed directly via the Terminal. While there are definite pros to it, the major con is the risk in running unverified or unknown scripts. It is strongly recommended to avoid any scripts except those:
Avoid running scripts that you do not understand at all costs. The caution is essential while running scripts as scripts can be executed to perform any system level task or configuration in Mac devices. One wrong command could bring all the management architecture down. Troubleshooting would also be hundred-fold difficult if you do not completely understand the script that was run on the devices.
One of the essential concepts in security is to use exactly those privileges that are needed. The admins have to take extra care while running scripts with root privileges at any point. If the attackers get their hold on root privileges, the entire system would be at risk and most of the security controls would be in vain.
The users often have the tendency to skip out or postpone the security and OS updates for their own convenience. From a corporate point of view, it is highly desirable that the enterprise Mac devices be updated with the latest OS and security updates. The latest updates often consist of security improvements and enhancements.
Updating the devices as soon as new updates are released might seem like a good idea. However, it is preferable if the admins examine the vulnerability studies and the exact boost the updates would provide.
Mac device management is an important branch of the device management tree. Relying on the old methods for PC management would not be sufficient for Mac management. Getting to know all the features and scope is the first and foremost step. Having in-depth knowledge about the ins and outs of Mac management would be the easiest and failproof method to avoid any mistakes or errors. After all, a little and incomplete knowledge can be a dangerous enemy. Relying on the right tools and resources is an excellent start for effective Mac device management.MDM solution for Mac Device Maangement