Feb 10, 2022
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Jamf vs. Intune: The Best Way to Manage Apple Devices

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The rise in hybrid work culture has increased the usage of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets for corporate purposes. Organizations must strengthen the security of these devices to ensure that every endpoint is protected. Efficiently managed devices are critical in maintaining a  solid security perimeter, and good MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions play a vital role in that.
There are a handful of excellent MDM options for organizations with managed Apple devices, iPhone, iPad, and other macOS devices. In this post, we’ll compare Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) Intune and Jamf Pro to help you determine which of these options is best for your organization’s needs.
Jamf is a UEM solution that exclusively manages Apple devices (including Mac Management, iPad / iPhone Management, and Apple TV Management) through a single console and allows users to self-enroll multiple Apple devices of their choice. Jamf Mac Management provides admins the option to configure single sign-on (SSO). Of course, Jamf also aids in maintaining software updates.
Jamf admins can manage iPads and iPhones to create a smooth user login experience using Jamf Setup and Jamf Reset applications. The Jamf Apple TV provides AirPlay apple management, which easily connects with multiple TVs to sync displays and deploy relevant applications.
On the other hand, Microsoft Intune manages not just Apple devices but also Windows systems and Android. Microsoft utilizes the built-in capabilities of Azure Same Sign-On for a smooth enrollment process. The Enrollment Status Page (ESP) offers multiple provisioning options after enrollment, along with sign-up options for new users.
For macOS, MEM Intune supports the configuration of both personal and corporate devices, including BYOD, Apple Automated Device(ADE), and direct enrollment. A MEM device profile has two separate sections: “Configuration Profiles” and “Endpoint Security,” which combined offers extensive customization in caching, policy enforcement, administrative templates, Defender ATP, Domain Joins, and more.
Both Microsoft Intune and Jamf have dedicated security teams that manage the initial configuration of security features in the compliant devices to help prevent misconfiguration vulnerabilities. Let’s see how each MDM performs in this critical aspect.
Jamf provides a holistic security framework for iOS devices, primarily through device settings and automated policies. It provides stringent password policies and robust security features without impacting the end users’ experience. It analyzes machine behavior and checks it against the  MITRE ATT&CK database of potential malware behaviors to identify potential attacks that don’t match known signatures.
Jamf’s deep integration with iOS devices allows it to configure endpoint applications with minimal dependencies on external devices securely. Although it provides a synchronized gateway for users to reset their credentials, the reliance on passwords is still a potential vulnerability.
Microsoft uses Azure Active Directory Conditional Access policies to strengthen its security via multi-layered decision-making. Conditional Access is already accessible to the premium Azure AD users, and MEM Intune utilizes the same node to secure both “Mobile Device Compliance” and “Mobile Application Management” (MAM) features.
For macOS, MEM Intune uses features like Firewall and Gatekeeper to restrict the access of suspicious applications to internal ports. Microsoft’s endpoint detection and response (EDR) is an added layer of security that provides extra protection in conjunction with Microsoft Defender Antivirus. It provides additional security by detecting and promptly notifying admins about any malicious activities missed by non-Microsoft antivirus software.
Application management is another essential aspect of device management that helps maintain a seamless workflow within an organization. Simple integrations with third-party software and platforms enhance productivity and provide many additional features to users. Let’s see how each MDMs perform in this critical aspect.
You might think that application management is all about deploying applications from the Apple App store using Apple Business Manager, but it’s way more than that. Jamf manages apps through a multistep process that details management  throughout their five lifecycle phases:
Since acquiring Mondada, Jamf easily integrates its Kinobi products with Jamf Pro and Title Editor to offer a wide variety of titles for users and admins both.
 
Microsoft Intune allows users to synchronize apps that they purchase from Apple Business Manager by managing the licenses and location tokens. Apple Business Manager also includes the Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP), allowing admins to deploy multiple public and private software such as a self-service app, books, etc. Intune utilizes MSIX packaging for some applications to ensure apps are up to date. The recently released Cloud Policies by Microsoft 365 enables the admin to create and deploy policies on a self-service application, giving MEM Intune extra customization options over the competitors.
 
There are two pricing packages available in Jamf Pro; the first is for iOS, iPad, and Apple TV management, while the second includes pricing for macOS.Although some users felt Jamf management becomes less stable once the endpoint devices increase, others complained that some features of Jamf School do not feature in Jamf Pro.
On the other hand, Intune has three pricing packages according to the need of the organizations. While customers were content with Intune’s windows services, some felt the MDM services could be improved, especially in the administrative and reporting areas. They also felt the dashboard needed more improvement with added technical solutions for small use-cases with better reporting capabilities.
Microsoft Intune and Jamf are superior services, consistently rated highly by their customers. According to customer reviews from Peerspot, Jamf rates 4.7/5 stars while Intune isn’t far behind with 3.9/5 stars. Similarly, on Gartner, Jamf has been rated 4.7/5, while Intune rates 4.4/5 stars. It’s worth noting that Jamf exclusively manages Apple devices while Microsoft Intune manages Windows systems and Android and Apple devices.
Let’s evaluate these reviews based on the different features to understand various end-users experiences.
Jamf is a comprehensive management system that allows customized deployment and provides granular level restrictions to its users. Its workflow automation and technical support enable customers to save time and increase productivity. Jamf is also scalable with a zero-touch setup which helps admins scale their enterprise quickly.
Customers also liked its geofencing feature, which allows customers to use particular policies according to locations. Some admins who would use Jamf’s built-in CA to distribute certificates to end-users felt a need for better third-party solutions. Some users also felt the need for a comprehensive solution to handle the entire authentication securely.
While customers appreciate the general functionality of Intune in securing and managing devices, they felt it integrates well with windows compared to macOS. Its dashboards, security, and customization capabilities empower end-users in numerous ways. Users also find Intune suitable for software update needs, operating system version updates, and security policy enforcement.
According to some users, there needs to be more support for Mac operating systems. Some admins felt the need for a trusted certificate authority to integrate MEM Intune with various APs and RADIUS servers easily. Intune is commonly used alongside AD CS, an on-prem PKI that can be expensive makes and limits your organization from operating in the cloud.
While Jamf is a dedicated Apple device manager, Intune supports Apple devices in addition to most other OSs. Given the relative rarity of Apple-only organizations, it’s not just possible but likely that you will find a need to manage Windows devices. Maybe you’re already using Intune for Windows devices and want to know if it’s a good idea to manage Apple devices in the same place.
Intune isn’t the only option for hybrid Windows-Apple environments.  Microsoft and Jamf have collaborated to provide a comprehensive compliance-based solution for Apple devices using Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) conditional access and Jamf Pro Mac management for heterogeneous environments. Microsoft’s EMS conditional access combines different real-time policies into decisions in the Azure cloud.
Conditional Access is already accessible to the premium Azure AD users, and MEM Intune utilizes the same node to secure both “Mobile Device Compliance” and “Mobile Application Management” (MAM) features. Its integration with Jamf’s Mac device management allows mutual customers to experience a continuous flow of data on Macs from Jamf Pro into the Microsoft Cloud. Although their integration is effective, their identity and access management (IAM) have limitations that need additional software solutions.
While Jamf and MEM Intune both provide superior MDM services, their enrollment and onboarding processes can be sticky. Effective enterprise device management requires a reliable and effective mechanism for enrolling new devices and users as every potential misconfiguration is a vulnerability in your network perimeter.
SecureW2 offers a solution that configures and auto-enrolls managed devices for certificate-based authentication and can deploy certificates to any MDM via API Gateways. It also addresses the entire lifecycle of certificates and has more cert management features than any MDM. For MEM Intune, we also provide an industry-unique enhancement feature that enables auto-revocation of certificates on expiry.
Here’s our budget-friendly pricing and a one-stop gateway for perfect onboarding software for your macOS devices.
The post Jamf vs. Intune: The Best Way to Manage Apple Devices appeared first on SecureW2.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from SecureW2 authored by Vivek. Read the original post at: https://www.securew2.com/blog/jamf-vs-intune-the-best-way-to-manage-apple-devices

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