Jamf Nation Live 2023 Recap

The eagerly anticipated Jamf Nation Live 2023 events rolled out across Sydney, Melbourne and NZ, these past few weeks, and the Mac Centre team were there to experience all that Jamf, along with guests from the wider Apple at Work partner community, had to showcase for the #macadmin and IT professionals’ community. It was a #jamf-packed day (yep, pun intended!), full of great content that further demonstrated Jamf’s continued commitment to helping organisations succeed with Apple at work.

We’ve heard it from Jamf before, so it was no surprise thatLove and Trust was the overarching theme of the day – how can businesses achieve the desired state where employees are empowered to use the devices they love, and the organisation can trust the individuals accessing and using the network?

WelcomeTrusted Access! Jamf spent the day unpacking their wholistic approach to security that enables trusted access – that place whereby we bridge the gap between user preference and organisational security, where IT and Security teams overlap, and the balanced state that integrates device management, identity provisioning, secure connectivity, and endpoint security – to successfully manage and secure Apple-at-work.

Let’s dive into the event specifics…

Jamf Opening Keynote:

All the way from Jamf HQ in the US-of-A, we were energetically welcomed by Sam Johnson (Chief Customer Officer) and Michael J Covington (Vice President, Portfolio Strategy). At the heart of Jamf’s mission is the concept of Trusted Access. In today’s modern workplace, employees are increasingly using Apple devices, and organisations must strike a delicate balance between meeting employee expectations and protecting valuable corporate data. With over 72K clients and 30+million devices globally, Jamf recognises this challenge and aims to deliver a solution that caters to both ends of the spectrum. To understand the trusted access journey in more detail, our speakers focused in on Three Key Pillars: Platform, Deskless, Trusted Access.

  1. Platform: Jamf’s ability to diversify in a changing market, bringing on new security solutions has elevated them from ‘a portfolio of products’, to an all-inclusive platform. When Device management is no longer enough, and Security is paramount – the two must come together and work hand-in-hand to achieve the desired outcome of trusted access. Jamf’s platform provides organisations with that whole product experience and now with one console, you can streamline the management of your device fleet while also having the ability to implement appropriate security controls. A platform enabling two-way integration between device management and device security, the foundation needed for trusted access.
  2. Deskless: Welcome to the world of modern working! Yep, in case you weren’t aware, the world is no longer chained to a desk and office. In fact, 80% of the global workforce is deskless – so from outback Boggabri to the cafes of New York – we are truly working from anywhere and everywhere. And with a 25% increase in productivity tools (aka applications), we are doing more now on our devices than ever before. Whether we are accessing company data on the frontline, or in the office, as a business it is critical to know what devices and by who is accessing and using your network.
  3. Trusted Access: ‘The foundation for success’, ‘the desired outcome’... it’s the framework on which an organisation can trust the device and user accessing the company network and data, hence granting them access. But in a zero-trust world, where do we even start to achieve trusted access? Jamf walked us through their ‘Circle-of-Trust’ framework, outlining the multiple layers of security and the various components needed to be considered. Starting with the device first, we moved through their framework of components across Device Management, Identity & Access and End-point security. Whilst there may seem like a lot of ‘pieces to the puzzle’, increasing security at all layers is the only way to set up your zero-trust network, ensuring security for the business along with privacy for the users who access the network.

Fom Desk to Deskless, Mac to iPhone, Jamf now has that all-inclusive integrated platform required to deliver trusted access. A clear leader in the industry, Jamf really in on a mission to help businesses manage and secure – Apple at Work.

More highlights from JNL – Sydney:

Partner Community Updates: Jamf have spent a lot of time over the last year nurturing a well curated partner community, so it was great to see them welcome an array of partners to the stage this year, with Sydney playing host to: Apple, Okta & AWS.

  • Apple provided us with some updates and key stats highlighting the importance of employee choice programs in the enterprise. With 82% of workers stating that technology plays a role in where they decide to work, and a further 42% would leave because of sub-standard technology – it was further evidence to support the adoption of device choice programs across the workplace.
  • Next up Okta – and in addition to Jamf for security and management, Okta provides that critical identity piece required to achieve trusted access. Often referred to as the ‘holy trinity’ – Apple, Jamf and Okta – Okta then highlighted the importance of the integration workflow allowing organisations to benefit from developing and maintaining consistent password policies across their entire fleet. Additionally, implementing multifactor authentication (MFA) gives organisations the added assurance that both business apps and sensitive data are protected via an additional layer of security before access is granted. Okta wrapped up by showcasing to all attendee’s the greatly anticipated feature of Platform SSO, which they announced to be available this winter (Australia)!
  • Finally AWS – showcased the recent Jamf integration for AWS Verified Access. The integration, combining Jamf Pro, AWS, and the Jamf Trust app, improves the security posture for Apple-based businesses relying on AWS for their cloud services. Customers can define flexible policies based on their needs, such as specific IP addresses, device risk scores, or minimum OS versions, and for companies running private applications on AWS, Jamf’s support is an important first step to achieving trusted access. This latest development builds on Jamf’s existing relationship with AWS, including Amazon EC2 Mac instances for running macOS workloads in the cloud. A true partnership with an aligned vision, together they showcased how they are simplifying the remote connectivity experience for end-users, while reducing the management complexity of IT.

Customer Success Stories: Jamf Nation Live also provided a platform for customers to share their success stories. We heard firsthand how Australian company Aspen Medical – leveraged Jamf’s solutions to transform their mobile health units, deployed to various regions of outback Australia throughout the pandemic. Security of patient data was critical to the business, along with ensuring business continuity and productivity through tough times – all of which Jamf delivered.

Jamf Threat Labs: I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T-I-N-G! Cybercrime is on the rise – we only have to look at the high-profile attacks from the last six months of 2022 to notice – and Jamf’s Threat Labs (JTL) are the team of researchers, cybersecurity experts and data scientists that scan the dark web and beyond to hunt for vulnerabilities, threats and data exposures across all products in the Apple ecosystem.The JTL team took the audience on a journey through the world of bitcoin, blockchain, pirate bay, I2P (Invisible Internet Protocol) and the history of an evasive crypto jacking malware hiding in pirated copies of Final Cut Pro. A journey that involved tracking this malware from its first form in 2019 all the way to its final evolution of Gen 3 in 2023.

Pirated software distributed through peer-to-peer networks serve as an effective method for delivering malware due to several reasons. First, major torrent clients do not apply the file quarantine attribute, a key security measure making it easier for malware authors. Second, users who download pirated software often disable security features like Gatekeeper, unwittingly aiding the malware. Third, the psychological factor plays a role as users engaging in illegal activities are less likely to seek help from security or IT departments if they suspect malware infection on their devices.

With so many companies globally putting their trust in Jamf, it was fascinating to gain an insight into this team and their commitment to exposing and remediating security risks. All in a day’s work for them, to bolster the security capabilities of Jamf products along with all the clients and devices they protect.

*If you’re interested, you can read the full JTL breakdown of the malware <here>

The Essential Eight and Why it’s so Essential? The Essentialness of the Essential Eight… it’s true to say, it’s essentially essential! And for those that aren’t fully across it, the Essential 8 is an organisation wide baseline based on the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) strategies for mitigating cyber-attacks. Whilst the Essential Eight is designed for Microsoft Windows based internet-connected networks, Jamf took to the audience through the motions for how to put alternate migration strategies into play for Apple focused environments, to achieve a greater maturely level within the Essential Eight. Any modern business should be adhering to these 8 criteria controls as a baseline for their security measures. This was a great reminder of why the Essential Eight Controls are so important in helping organisations stay secure:

  • Application control
  • Patch applications
  • Configure Microsoft Office macros
  • User application hardening
  • Restrict administrative privileges
  • Patch operation systems
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Regular back-ups

 *If implementing an Essential Eight baseline across your Apple workplace is of high priority, the Mac Centre team can help. Learn more about our Security Services here.

And…that basically brings us to the end of the day!

Jamf Nation Live #thanks for having us! It was a great day out for the team – to reconnect, reinvigorate & remind us all – why Jamf is leading the way to help organisations manage, secure and ultimately succeed with Apple-at-work.

Want to achieve a Trusted Access environment, inclusive of Jamf and Okta, for a secure and successful Apple at Work deployment? Reach out to the Macentre team.

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