For Apple’s enterprise success, endpoint management is the new black

Yet more data shows the acceleration of Mac adoption in the business world.

Okta’s recent Businesses at Work 2023 report shared numerous insights into the state of enterprise IT. One in particular grabbed my attention: endpoint management and security tools have become the most popular category of security product across the enterprise, with some players achieving really significant growth, partly on the back of their Mac support.

The data: Jamf Pro has seen 428% customer growth across the last four years, while smaller vendor Kandji experienced a 172% increase in its customer base in just the last year.

(It’s important to note that Okta seems to have an investment connection with Kandji via Okta Ventures.)

These statistics reinforce the idea that Mac adoption has been taking place for several years. It’s not a new trend, as Jamf’s rapid growth shows, but the report makes it pretty clear that companies are embracing Apple, in line with most observational and PC market data.

I’m also reasonably flattered the report links to one of my own pieces “The year Apple became a big player in enterprise tech,” as this is a trend I’ve been writing about for many years.

“This category is clearly the place to be,” Okta states. “In fact, among the tech sector, endpoint management and security has been the most popular security category by number of customers since August 2020.”

There are plenty of other insights to represent the transformation waves crashing across the enterprise sector. Cybersecurity training tools have experienced 436% customer growth across the last four years as enterprises seek to harden their most vulnerable attack surfaces, the humans who work for them.

That’s of deep importance with hybrid work becoming increasingly entrenched as business users begin to discover how the loyalty and productivity benefits of flexible work arrangements translate into bigger numbers on at the bottom line. (Though that’s not true in every situation.)

“There’s no unanimous consensus in the way that the future is going to be, except that it’s going to be hybrid,” Cisco Systems Vice President Jeetu Patel explained recently.

With ransomware attacks accelerating and attack configurations becoming rapidly more complex, training staff into habits of security awareness is just about as important as endpoint protection has become in a hybrid working age.

Verizon data recently showed that an astonishing 80% of web breaches in 2022 resulted from credentials theft/abuse. With that in mind, zero trust is more than a buzzword, and with MDM solutions providers such as those mentioned in this report and Apple’s own authentication and encryption APIs, the security cat-and-mouse game continues — now with more educated users.

Platform providers have an important part to play.

Apple’s recent addition of support for hardware keys to access iPhones and the future introduction of USB-C cable authentication in its products confirm that direction.

The report shows that the use of security keys and biometrics increased 22% across the enterprise in 2022. That’s also why Apple continues to harden its own security. In the last few months, it has embraced WebAuthn and Passkeys and continues to evolve iCloud and App Store security at the consumer end of the chain.

But as above, so below, and as Apple’s enterprise ecosystem expands to fill the rapidly growing quantity of available space within which it can exist, Apple’s moves to raise security perimiters across its fast-expanding fleet shows it’s racing to get ahead of the puck as market momentum builds.

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