Covid-19 has spurred the greatest movement of the workforce into their homes in all of history, and it’s now more important than ever to ensure the security of endpoints with enterprises adapting to work-anywhere workforces. In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, market research firm Vanson Bourne and Jamf, the standard in Apple Enterprise Management, surveyed 1500 IT and information security professionals on current device usage in their organization, challenges and future state of endpoint security.
Mac Usage is on the Rise
There are clear indications that all IT and information security respondents, regardless of which devices their organizations are currently using, expect to see an increase in the number of Mac used over the next 12 months. 74% of organizations with predominantly Mac users say they will increase device count at their organization, and 65% of organizations with predominantly non-Mac users say they will increase their Mac count.
IT and Security Say Oversight and Security Maintenance is Easier on Mac
Among IT and infosec professionals, there was a consensus that oversight and endpoint visibility is easier on Mac, but also that Mac security maintenance is easier. More than three-quarters (77%) of organizations who use both Mac and non-Mac devices view Mac as the most-secure device out of the box, and 79% of Mac users say its perceived security reputation positively affects their purchasing decision. Even organizations that are predominantly non-Mac agree – nearly 3 in 5 (57%) say Mac security reputation positively impacts their purchasing decision.
Plus, with all security tools active, 71% of survey respondents whose organizations use both Mac and non-Mac have better end-user satisfaction with Mac – an important part of delivering the intended Apple experience workers demand. Perceived reputation and end-user satisfaction lead 84% of respondents whose organizations use both Mac and non-Mac devices to say they would choose Mac if all their organization’s end users had to use the same device type.
Despite Satisfaction with Mac, IT and Security teams Still Have Challenges
As Mac adoption rises in the enterprise, so too will the attention towards cyberattacks and threats. To combat, precision and the right allocation of tools and resources are essential. Half of IT and security teams worry about unknown threats when containing and remediating security incidents, and nearly all (96%) organizations are prioritizing spending on security software in the future. Top areas include data loss prevention, anti-virus/next generation anti-virus and endpoint detection and response.
Organizations still have challenges and concerns around operating system (OS) and device security across their fleet. Mac users report less time than their non-Mac counterparts to roll out major OS updates and security patches, however there is still an average of four days from patch release to deployment and five days to roll out major OS releases for Mac. Organizations cite compatibility testing, security tool compatibility and internal application compatibility as the top three reasons for the delay. The time taken to roll out the latest major operating system and security patches leaves devices open to vulnerabilities.
Top cybersecurity concerns include malware, data loss and phishing. In addition, nearly half of IT and InfoSec teams cite unknown threats as their largest challenge to containing (47%) and remediating (45%) a potential security incident, with other key challenges to remediation including lack of time, staff, tools and money.
“Mac continues its impressive growth in the enterprise, and through this study we found demand for these devices is driven not just by end users, but also by IT and security teams,” said Patrick Wardle, principal security researcher, Jamf. “However, there are still unique challenges and concerns securing these devices. Organizations with Mac deployments need to reach for tools that are purpose-built for Apple, and thus can counter the ever-evolving Mac-specific threats. Moreover, such tools must support new versions of the operating systems on their day of release, to ensure that teams can test and upgrade their macOS fleets right away – all while extending the native Apple experience workers need.”