Securing macOS and iOS Devices in Higher and Further Education: Best Practices for Senior IT Leaders

As Apple devices, such as MacBook and iPad devices, continue to gain popularity in colleges and universities, ensuring their security is becoming increasingly crucial for senior IT leaders in education. This blog discusses the best practices for securing macOS and iOS devices in Education and managing their use efficiently.

Update Devices: Ensure that all macOS and iOS devices are updated with the latest security patches and software versions. Utilise Mobile Device Management solutions (MDM) such as Jamf Pro to automate software updates. Regular updates mitigate known vulnerabilities and defend against emerging and zero-day threats.

Strengthen Authentication: Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA) on all devices. For single sign on (SSO) environments, enforce robust password policies to prevent the use of weak passwords. Enhance security further by integrating biometric authentication options such as Touch-ID or Face-ID but make sure you gain consent from your userbase (GDPR).

Encrypt Data: Safeguard sensitive data stored on macOS and iOS devices by implementing encryption. A great platform to consider is Jamf Protect which is a cloud-based endpoint protection solution for macOS that is designed to provide advanced security features for Mac devices. One of the features offered by Jamf Protect is full disk encryption (FDE) for Mac devices. iOS devices can be secured using encrypted backups for iOS.

Adopt a Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solution: Streamline device management, automate software updates, and enforce security policies across macOS and iOS devices using an MDM solution such as Jamf Pro. This approach allows for granular control over security settings and efficient device administration.

Educate Users: As end-users are often the weakest link in security strategies, provide regular training on best security practices. Teach users to avoid phishing emails, connect to secure Wi-Fi networks, and remain vigilant for suspicious activity, thereby reducing the risk of security incidents.

Consider Managed Service Providers (MSP): Many colleges and universities are partnering with MSPs such as Academia to manage, secure, and configure their devices. Partnering with Academia for device management offers numerous benefits for IT teams, such as achieving greater efficiency, scalability and automation through a centralised platform which is cost-effective, offers greater security which is managed by a team of Jamf engineers with experience and expertise. Ultimately leading to an enhanced user experience and reducing administrative burden on the IT team.

In conclusion, securing macOS and iOS devices in colleges and universities necessitates a blend of technical and educational measures. By adopting best practices, such as regular device updates, robust authentication methods, data encryption, MDM solutions, and user education, institutions can significantly reduce security risks and safeguard their data whilst offering greater accessibility and flexibility to their userbase.

If securing macOS and iOS devices in your institution is challenging and seen as a “dark art”, then do not hesitate to contact Academia for expert guidance and support. Academia partners with many institutions to provide MDM managed services and is best placed to partner with your institutions to provide solutions to your challenges. Click here to read our brochure on Apple devices powered by Jamf.

Book a Discovery call with our team.

Tips, resources, and advice for remote learning Find out more