The Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) 2023 is on! In its now 14th year of bringing together tech enthusiasts, Apple admins, and industry leaders – the big focus for this year, is exploring the power of “AND.” A creative theme, when you consider the concerted effort Jamf has had on building out their partner community, collaborations and integrations into an evolving landscape that is required for best practice Apple device management and security. All under the new leadership of John Strosahl, it was exciting to see Jamf’s new CEO take to the stage and address the audience. Giving reassurance to all in driving the company’s mission forward, he said in a statement, “We are so confident in Apple’s continued success that we believe Apple will flip the market over the next decade and be the No. 1 end-user technology used in the enterprise.”
Here’s some of the key takeaways the Opening Keynote & Day 1 had to deliver:
Apple and Jamf: Making Device Management Easier
During the Apple keynote address, several significant developments were emphasised. These included:
- Enhancements to Managed Apple ID to give organisations more control and capabilities.
- A streamlined user enrolment process with features like zero-touch enrolment and compliance checks
- Improved software update management
- The ability to manage Watch OS 10.
Apple also showcased ongoing innovations and updates for organisations throughout the conference, many of which were announced at WWDC23.
Jamf Pro 11: Enhancing Device Management
In Jamf’s keynote address, the focus was on Jamf Pro 11. The main highlights were:
- Sleeker User Interface: The upcoming release of Jamf Pro 11 will feature a refreshed and modern user interface for more accessible and compliant device management.
- Shortcuts and Workflows: Jamf Pro 11 will introduce shortcuts and automated workflows to simplify administrative tasks, making it easier for both new and experienced users.
- Declarative Device Management: This will simplify security workflows by aligning with Apple’s device management capabilities, allowing scheduling and enforcement of software updates for better compliance and security.
- Account-Driven Device Enrolment: A new enrolment workflow that simplifies device enrolment for users through their work email address and password.
- Mac Onboarding Experience: Users will have a transparent and productive onboarding experience with real-time app installation progress tracking.
- Jamf Cloud Distribution Service (JCDS): An updated version of JCDS to improve performance and offer API endpoints for programmatic content management.
- Jamf Remote Assistance: Improved remote assistance capabilities for secure access and management of end-user devices, even when users are off the internal network.
Jamf and Access: Ensuring Trust and Identity
In another keynote address, Jamf focused on the importance of trust, identity, and access through:
- Single Sign-On (SSO): To reduce login fatigue, enhances productivity, and ensures fast and secure authentication.
- Cloud Identity Management: Addressing cloud identity management challenges through Active Directory Connectors for various identity providers and per-app VPN solutions.
- Employee Badges in Apple Wallet: Introduction of employee badges in Apple Wallet to increase security, replace physical badges, and offer self-service provisioning.
- Swift Connect Partnership: Partnering with Swift Connect to integrate access control software and infrastructure with business systems.
- Positive User Feedback: Transitioning to digital badges in Apple Wallet has received positive feedback, as it’s improved employee satisfaction and ease of access.
- Future Adoption and Expansion: Organisations like SAP plan to further enhance the employee experience, anticipating wider adoption due to ease of use and security benefits.
Jamf CEO John Strosahl simply said: “Trusted Access is an outcome you can achieve when you Manage and Secure your Mac and Mobile devices with Jamf, regardless of if it’s deployed for a person or for a purpose.”
Jamf and Google: A Unified Approach to Apple Device Security
In Google’s keynote address, the focus was on integration with Google services:
- Integration of Google Services: Google and Jamf have collaborated to ensure a secure and seamless experience for organisations using Apple devices in conjunction with Google Cloud, Google Workspace, and Google Chrome.
- Security and Context-Aware Access: The partnership enhances security through the integration of Google BeyondCorp and Jamf, offering security posture assessment, context-aware access, and compliance status for managed Apple devices.
- Comprehensive Apple Security Visibility: Google Chronicle and Jamf Protect integration provide comprehensive Apple security visibility, allowing businesses to rapidly identify and respond to security threats with contextual insights.
- Simplified Account Creation and User Enrolment: The collaboration aims to simplify Mac account creation and user enrolment based on Google identity, ensuring a secure journey for organisations using both Apple and Google technologies.
- Chrome Enterprise for Secure Browsing: Google Chrome Enterprise offers secure browsing experiences and can be easily enrolled and managed through Jamf.
Jamf and Security: Protecting Your Apple Ecosystem
Jamf’s security presentation at JNUC 2023 emphasised their commitment to security, compliance, and threat protection for Apple devices. The integration with third-party solutions, like BeyondCorp, Chrome Enterprise, and Chronicle, extends deep visibility and control across IT stacks.
Jamf simplifies compliance with the Mac OS Security Compliance Project (MSCP) and Jamf Compliance Editor, streamlining security benchmarks and providing compliance documentation. Continuous compliance monitoring is enabled through a forthcoming compliance dashboard in Jamf Protect.
Given the escalating threat landscape, Jamf focuses on combating ransomware, cryptojacking, spyware, and phishing attacks. Built-in phishing protection and the diligence of Jamf’s Threat Labs team underscore their dedication to thwarting threats. Additionally, ‘Jamf Executive Threat Protection’ addresses advanced mobile security needs.
This holistic security approach extends to both Mac and mobile devices, cementing Jamf as an endpoint security solution. Partner integrations further enrich security, while collaboration with Microsoft signifies a shared commitment to strengthening Apple device security in Microsoft 365 environments.
Jamf and Microsoft: Collaborative Security Approach
Microsoft’s JNUC 2023 presentation underscored the imperative of cross-platform security, acknowledging attacks across various OS. Password attacks, occurring at a staggering rate of 4,000 per second, accentuate the urgency for robust security.
Microsoft’s partnership with Jamf simplifies Apple device management within Microsoft 365, reducing complexity. Enhanced Azure Active Directory integration streamlines compliance criteria establishment, ensuring devices meet security standards before accessing enterprise resources.
An improved user and admin experience is a result of this collaboration, along with integration with Microsoft Sentinel for unified security monitoring. Microsoft’s commitment to security is underscored by its membership in the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA). The forthcoming ‘Platform SSO for Mac OS’ heralds secure, password less access.
Microsoft’s customer-centric approach, driven by feedback, ensures the evolving security needs of organisations are met effectively.
Jamf and AI
Senior Vice President of Engineering at Jamf, Akash Kamath, tackled the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Kamath acknowledged the ubiquitous nature of AI in today’s tech industry, ranging from promises of AI saving humanity to fears of AI dominance.
He urged the audience to recall the transformative impact of computers and the arrival of the Apple Macintosh in 1984, emphasising that generative AI is making AI more accessible and personal. Kamath also introduced the Jamf Collaboratory, a dedicated team working on AI solutions for Apple device management and security.
He revealed a specialised language model, shaped by Jamf Pro documentation and user forum insights, to aid administrators in problem-solving scenarios, enhancing efficiency. Kamath also discussed AI’s role in cybersecurity, addressing the challenges faced by IT professionals.
During his keynote, he also highlighted the potential of AI in distinguishing between genuine threats and benign incidents, introducing ‘hypothesis’ – an AI-driven feature for comprehensive event analysis and tailored suggestions. Before concluding by expressing Jamf’s commitment to evolving alongside IT and InfoSec professionals, inviting collaboration to push the boundaries of technology and security in a rapidly evolving landscape.
The wrap up of a big day 1:
What a day! JNUC 2023 demonstrated the power of collaboration and integration, emphasising the importance of trust, security, and user experience in managing Apple devices across diverse environments. As technology continues to evolve, these partnerships and innovations are essential for organisations to stay ahead in the ever-changing landscape of device management and security. Now here’s to an exciting next few days… and seeing what more Jamf have to deliver.