Centrify is taking its unified identity services offering to the Apple (AAPL) Mac world. The company launched Centrify User Suite, Mac Edition this week to provide Active Directory-based authentication, policy management, single sign-on (SSO) and user self-service for connected and remote Mac OS X systems.
Part of the announcement centers around the cloud capabilities being added for remote management and wipe of Mac computers. David McNeely, senior director of product management at Centrify, told Talkin' Cloud this update of its Mac support essentially solves some of the SSO issues Mac users have had, but from a security standpoint, it also gives IT administrators and trusted advisors the ability to do remote wipes and remote locks via the cloud.
"Most of our current customers would just like to add remote management ability to their Macs," McNeely said.
The problem is that a certain segment of users, particularly executives, bring MacBook Pros into the workplace and want to access the network corporate network and data within the four walls of the enterprise, as well as remotely. That presents a security challenge, if only because of the potential for lost or stolen MacBooks. Remote lock and remote wipe take away those concerns, he said.
Remote management of Mac computers is being done through Centrify Cloud, with enforcement carried out through the Centrify proxy server before being pushed to the cloud and out to the device.
Centrify has been building out SSO and management capabilities for various cloud platforms and services, including Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Google Docs and others. Although most end-users are likely using a flavor of Windows, Android or iOS, the addition of Mac capabilities captures that small percentage of corporate users using Apple computers.
Additionally, with this addition, Centrify has switched its licensing to a per-user model, dropping the per-device model it was previously employing. In the Apple realm, that makes even more sense, seeing as many Apple fans tend to own multiple Apple devices they use at different times. With a single subscription, they can use the Centrify technology for up to five different devices.