Jamf Blog
App management concept photo
November 14, 2022 by Haddayr Copley-Woods

A holistic approach to security: app management

You probably know about app management and its importance in managing devices and supporting employees. But do you know how important app management is to organizational security?

What is app management?

Application management is just what it sounds like: management of apps, from purchase to deployment; updates and patch management to sunsetting, if necessary.

While it sounds simple, app management is an absolutely essential business process. Proper app management involves:

  • Vetting apps to ensure they are from a secure vendor with a good reputation
  • Making purchasing decisions based on cost, need for the application and safety
  • Assigning and deploying apps to specific groups or individuals that need them to work efficiently
  • Maintaining apps throughout your fleet to ensure that no one has an old or unstable application that might lead to a security failure
  • Updating and patching apps to ensure the best user experience, security and efficiency

At every step of the way, this lifecycle process touches on employee productivity, employee trust and empowerment, the user experience and —most important— security.

What does app management have to do with security?

Third-party vendors and third-party apps are a common source of data breaches, according to a September 2022 study by the Ponemon Institute. As a matter of fact, 59 percent of respondents to their survey reported third party vendors have caused a data breach at their companies.

59 percent. That’s not a number that Mac admins can afford to ignore.

What are the risks of piecemeal application management?

If your organization doesn’t have a careful app management plan and an automated way to keep track of third-party applications, you put your organization at risk for:

  • Malware infections when employees download unstable or unsafe apps from the internet with no vetting
  • Cascading of security, productivity and stability issues when apps are dependent on one another but they aren’t all updated as soon as updates are available
  • Time and money wasted with unused licenses and IT time tracking down rogue or unused apps
  • Accidental data breaches from well-meaning employees due to an insecure app or a bad actor
  • Cyber attacks through innocuous-looking apps or apps that are no longer supported and leave back doors open to a company’s network

The importance of automated app management to security

No matter how carefully-built a plan is for vetting and controlling apps, if you don’t have absolutely solid followthrough, the plan is useless.

Keeping track of which apps are safe, which devices need updates, which apps need patching and who is using what app is simply too large and complex of a job to leave open to human error or memory.

That’s why you need automation. Automated checks for updates and patches around the clock mean no one will forget to check because their kid was sick with the flu that morning. Automated and zero-touch deployments mean that every device, no matter where it is located, receives updates the instant they are available, closing possible loopholes.

App management with Jamf

With Jamf, you can ensure that your apps are monitored and secure by deploying from the Mac App Store with Apple Business Manager or deploying third-party apps from our constantly-updated app catalog.

Developers can create and maintain unique custom titles with Jamf Title Editor. And Self Service, a customized app catalog for approved apps, empowers users to download the fully-vetted apps they need whenever they need them — no IT ticket required.

Don’t forget Jamf Pro’s ability to create and push out configuration profiles and user permissions using Smart Groups or user IDs, which keeps a well-considered application management plan in place.

See how Jamf helps to secure and empower a workforce.

Photo of Haddayr Copley-Woods
Haddayr Copley-Woods
Jamf
Haddayr Copley-Woods is a senior copywriter in Jamf's marketing department. She blogs about education, accessibility, security and other issues affecting Mac admins.
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