Qualys, sometimes described as one of the pioneering SaaS vendors, has bent with the times to begin offering Mac support within its cloud security offering.
A pioneer in SaaS goes Mac
Since it launched in 1999, Qualys has traditionally offered its services to PCs, mobile devices, and cloud-native applications. The company’s original 2000 product, QualysGuard, was distinguished as one of the first to market vulnerability management tools.
What’s also interesting about the offer is that it has strategic partnerships with key managed service providers and consultancies, such as Wipro, Verizon, BT, Symantec, and others. The company claims existing clients include most Forbes Global 100 and Fortune 100 firms.
The introduction of Mac support proves the growing status of Macs in enterprise IT, representing the momentum the platform continues to build, particularly since the launch of M-series Macs.
“In the past few years, many of our customers have seen a sharp increase in the number of Mac devices introduced to their environment,” wrote Eran Livne, senior director of product management at Qualys, in a company blog announcing the move.
A Mac tool for Windows admins
Livne argues that the introduction of macOS patch management by Qualys means IT will be able to stick with tools admins already use for Windows and Linux devices while securing the enterprise environment.
- The same smart automation and remediation workflows as available for Windows systems.
- The ability of Qualys Cloud Mac Agent to detect and deploy Mac OS patches and patches for third-party Mac apps.
- Full integration with the Qualys VMDR and the current patch management offering.
“Customers told us how using one solution not only for the detection of vulnerabilities, but also for understanding the risk of those vulnerabilities and being able to efficiently respond and remediate those vulnerabilities save them time and allow them to become significantly more secure,” Livne said.
Qualys has consciously built its Mac support in such a way that existing Windows admins will find the tool familiar. Jobs can be run on demand, at scheduled times, or during defined maintenance windows. Admins can also use the tool to reboot a system, if required.
The company is offering existing customers trial licenses so they can begin testing the Mac support across their fleets.
Apple and the future of the enterprise
The Mac device management space is flourishing as Apple deployments in the enterprise continue to accelerate.
This is prompting the appearance of new competitors in a area arguably first explored by Jamf, with brand new MDM start-ups entering the fray and established companies such as Qualys adding Apple support to existing solutions.
Increased competition emerges as companies themselves seek to bring their Security Service Edge (SSE) solutions into increasingly tight budgetary controls. A recent Gartner report claims that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will have adopted a strategy to unify web, cloud services, and private application access from a single vendor’s SSE platform.
Of course, within this convergence of forces the debate will evolve in two directions: those who believe enterprise tech is best served through reliance on best-in-breed solutions providing the best possible support for dedicated platforms, and those seeking tools with which to manage multiple platforms from one place.
For Apple, that this debate has emerged at all testifies to the success the company has enjoyed as the iPhone exposed numerous industries to an accelerating tide of digital transformation. The fact that established Windows-centric companies now choose to introduce Mac support within their enterprise products shows the extent of change that has taken — and is expected to continue to take — place.
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