NASA details how to maintain a secure IT environment with Apple

If you’ve read my coverage of Apple in the enterprise on 9to5Mac, you know that I am a heavy user of Jamf for my school. Securing an Apple environment in a K-12 school is one thing, but how do you secure an IT network with NASA?

On Jamf’s blog, they had a discussion with NASA about how to maintain a secure Apple environment in space. One of the pieces that stood out to me was how NASA has multiple IT organizations under its management.

“Each organization within NASA has its own needs and technological footprint, resulting in having over 200 sites within Jamf,” Golbig said, “but we can use the same solution to accomplish all of it.”

One of my favorite features of Jamf is Smart Groups. It’s a feature that allows you to build groups that change based on preset criteria that might change daily. I personally use it to see which devices are not on the latest software versions, and it was interesting to read that NASA used the same approach as they worked to get their entire fleet into Jamf.

Their first step was to consolidate the multiple management solutions from across the organization into one. “Moving macOS management to Jamf allowed us to have consistency for our Apple devices,” Golbig said. Sometimes, of course, working in silos remains a challenge: Golbig pointed out that getting colleagues in other locations to patch their systems at the same time, or getting users to upgrade isn’t always easy, but using Jamf helps keep everything secure and gives them data in Smart Groups via policies to take action. Once everything was moved to Jamf, Harvey’s team hosted monthly agency-wide training sessions for System Administrators.

The entire blog is a fun read, and I particulary enjoyed their discussion around the use of smart cards. The key thing I came away realizing is that regardless of if you work in education or all the way in space, the fundamentals of secure Apple devices are always the same. A proper mobile device management solution is a key factor for all organizations that want to succeed with Apple – especially with star-high stakes like NASA.

Show More Comments