University of Glasgow: bringing Apple devices under the security of Jamf

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow, a beacon of education with a rich history, faced a critical need in the modern age. Employing 8,000 staff and with 30,000 students, the institution sought a solution to manage and secure its Apple fleet while achieving the coveted Cyber Essential+ certification. In this pursuit, Jamf emerged as the key, turning their dreams into reality in record time.

Jamf Pro manages and secures the Apple fleet with robust workflows for device and app management, inventory, and security
Jamf Protect safeguards endpoints by defending against threats, maintaining compliance, and promptly responding to active threats
Jamf Connect streamlines provisioning, authentication, and identity management, limiting security weaknesses in a manageable and thorough way
Jamf and Microsoft integrations enable real-time management reporting, enhancing identity management, security, and compliance for IT
Device compliance through security benchmark enforcement and endpoint telemetry activity logging
Jamf Premium Pilot swiftly turned a dream into reality, ensuring IT seamlessly manages and secures Apple devices with the desired efficiency and capacity

Navigating academic challenges

Allowing academics to find the best tools to address complex challenges meant the University had a diverse fleet of end-user computers, of which only some were managed and part of their enterprise environment. Over 5,000 Apple devices across the institution were unmanaged and, therefore, unsupported.

“We needed to transition into a more secure environment to understand the cyber threats touching our network,” said Colin Sloper, project manager. Compliance to government standards in the UK public sector is a mandatory requirement, and business processes, as well as security benchmarks, must be transparent and adhered to.

The challenge was set: the University had to bring all their devices under one management platform, compatible with the hybrid work model that became a reality for teachers, researchers and admin staff.

This was no easy feat. With each of the university’s five colleges having its own IT department, it was important that silos of responsibility were maintained and that teams were still able to support their users on the ground.

Moreover, they needed to get the buy-in from tech-savvy, seasoned academics, who wanted to retain the choice of whether to bring their devices under a management tool. According to Jonathan Dunne, IT Services, “one of the biggest challenges of this whole project is the people challenge: to try and explain what benefits people will receive from this program, and how to bring them with us and get all the existing Apple devices into the estate.”

Building the best

Tapping into previous experience with Jamf’s education solutions, the team reached out to Jamf with their unique and complex challenges. A premium pilot was established, a thorough combination of Jamf’s products and solutions was chosen, and a close collaboration began. “We work on the basis that if we use all the products that Jamf can offer, this will give us the best quality solution: the best user experience, the best security, and access to the best technical support and resources. We want to be the best Jamf instance in Scotland,” said Colin.

We want to be the best Jamf instance in Scotland.
Colin Sloper Project Manager, AKORN Consultants

The immersive approach paid off, as explained by Peter Mitchell, Assistant Director, End User Computing: “We find Jamf a very mature product that responded really well to our project and delivered an installation with no technical issues at all during project implementation.” Since the premium pilot ended, over 1000 Mac and mobile devices have been enrolled in Jamf Pro, which was possible with the support of Jamf’s back-end team and engineers. “From our perspective, a technically very easy project and one that's already impacted us greatly.”

We delivered the project on time and budget with very positive feedback indeed from the user community.
Peter Mitchell Assistant Director End User Computing

Security by design

Taking up Jamf as a comprehensive solution meant having the best start possible to achieve security by design. Like in many public sector organizations, it is a major part of the university’s strategy to improve cyber provisions significantly. Recent compromises to institutions in the country are a stark reminder of the cost of not having the right security.

We are an Azure based domain, so integrating Jamf Pro into the backend for identity management using Jamf Connect has been a game changer for us in developing a joined-up approach to your platforms.
Chris McBride Service Lead for MyMac, macOS & Jamf Engineer

Integrations between Jamf and Microsoft solutions are part of the ecosystem, with Jamf Connect and Jamf Protect running alongside Entra ID and Microsoft Intune and reporting live into Microsoft Sentinel. With Jamf Pro and Power BI, the team can efficiently produce reports that display real-time information for senior management.

Power BI integrates seamlessly with Jamf Pro to provide detailed reports on all aspects of your Jamf Pro instance. Set up reports on macOS versions, Virus Definition versions, number of devices per building etc.
Chris McBride Service Lead for MyMac, macOS & Jamf Engineer

Moreover, these integrations work with Jamf to enforce compliance and protect institutionally-owned devices against threats, ensuring that only trusted users on authorized devices can access university resources.

The improved security strategy with Jamf Protect allows the newly created cybersecurity team to monitor and address incidents in real time. “To say it's an upgrade in our capabilities is a significant understatement,” said Peter Mitchell. “The integration has been a key part of elevating the security provision from OK to industry standard and fit for purpose.”

Keeping the user in mind

Building a security model that allowed smooth enrolment with no step 3 was not enough for the team: they wanted to improve the user experience. Whether by adding support where once there was none or creating a bespoke app store for each academic field, every aspect of the solution was devised to bring the user in organically.

Today, the device landscape has significantly changed, with the team confident that they can equally support the two different platforms on offer. With central procurement now in place, new employees at the University of Glasgow are offered a choice of devices, with Apple devices managed and secured by Jamf out of the box. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, including from senior staff, who love how quickly they can get back to work when their device is replaced and how seamless and efficient their tailored applications are. In science and technology departments, the proportion of Apple devices is already 45% and rising. The increasing uptake also puts the University in a great position to negotiate its hardware costs.

By putting their trust in Jamf, the University of Glasgow managed to achieve their complex requirements and make their journey a success. This outcome will continue to facilitate innovative research for true societal impact.

See how you too can achieve Apple success by taking Jamf for a free test drive. Request a Trial.