Apple has always touted the security and privacy capabilities of its devices. Being responsible for both the hardware and the associated operating system has allowed Apple to create a closed approach to protecting users against some common attacks. But the extra security might not be as foolproof as you might have thought. The pair of Apple device vulnerabilities that recently surfaced is a prime example.
The vulnerability has affected iPhones, iPads and Macs and, according to the firm, gives attackers full access to the victim’s device. Although Apple released a security update to address the threat, they revealed that hackers were already using the vulnerability to their advantage. So whether you’re a CEO, CISO, or IT administrator, sticking to Apple’s inherent security systems isn’t a good strategy. This article will provide information on how you can protect your business against these threats and vulnerabilities.
The first piece of the puzzle
Any discussion of device management wouldn’t be complete without talking about Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions. Apple Business Manager or ABM helps configure and deploy Apple devices, so why should you spend more resources to upgrade to a dedicated UEM? To put it simply, the access to capabilities provided by an EMU is unparalleled.
Let’s start with the first phase of device management: registration. Your organization can use ABM with an UEM to enroll devices in bulk rather than enrolling each device manually. However, even after registration, exclusive use of ABM creates a new hurdle: management.
Consider here the issue of Apple’s recent vulnerability: Apple says the flaw could be used by “web content processing”, which refers to linking a web address with security vulnerabilities. Any malefactors who knew how to exploit the flaw can run any code they wanted on the targeted device by directing a user to such a site. In cybersecurity, it’s incredibly rare and powerful to be able to execute code on a targeted device simply by tricking users into visiting a website. The web content filtering capability of a UEM prevents your employees from navigating to untrusted sites. It can also be configured so that users can only access pre-approved web pages. Malicious web pages have always been a huge source of threats and attacks, so filtering them out is always a necessity for cybersecurity.
Once Apple realized the existence of the threat, they countered it by releasing a security update. As soon as Apple releases the patch for the vulnerability, attackers could reverse engineer the patch and use it to target any Apple device that hasn’t been patched. That is why it is imperative to install the security update as soon as possible. However, in a scenario where some of your employees work from home and others work in the office, how do you ensure that all your devices are up to date? In such a scenario, a UEM’s remote access capabilities will be able to remotely push operating system updates to any device enrolled under it, regardless of the location of the device. device.
Convergence is key
An EMU goes a long way toward securing your Apple devices. However, on its own, it might not provide cyber-secure Nirvana. Although EMUs are protected against the latest threat, a proactive attitude would require additional efforts. The key here is convergence. Most UEM vendors have established integrations with other enterprise security solutions to provide customers with a simplified and seamless experience. When choosing a UEM vendor, I highly recommend evaluating their listed partnerships and integrations to get an idea of how they fit into your existing security architecture. Among the myriad of solutions available today, a few stand out.
A single pane
While some EMUs provide decent visibility into your Apple devices, using an IT Service Management (ITSM) tool provides a holistic view of your device’s environment. Such a single-pane view enables senior management to produce reports and provides a 360-degree view of your device inventory. ITSM goes further by automating tickets, user management and IT operations. An integration between an ITSM and a UEM will allow both solutions to perform better in their respective roles. In practice, it will provide administrators with a unified console to track device compliance, respond to tickets, and resolve issues faster, among other activities.
Anticipate impending attacks
Most UEMs are device-level security and management solutions and therefore might not have the ability to detect new threats. In today’s ever-changing threat landscape, visibility and automation are key to securing your devices. Extended detection and response (XDR) solutions are very valuable in this regard. They monitor all of your Apple endpoints and other security checkpoints, including email, networks, cloud, and more. For these reasons, an XDR, along with an UEM, is necessary to ensure the complete security of your network and devices.
At the end of the line
An Apple device management solution provides a bridge between what Apple offers and what businesses need today. However, as technology evolves and new threats emerge, one solution will not suffice.
The solutions I mentioned, together, can encompass a broad aspect of cybersecurity. However, there are many more. Ultimately, every organization should strive to create a zero-trust architecture. Your mobile, remote, and hybrid workforces receive security upgrades faster and easier by combining zero-trust strategies under one EMU. Regardless of how mobile devices advance in technology, you and your team will be equipped to meet these challenges ahead and maintain efficient operations for your staff and customers.