How identity and device management improves Mac user experience with seamless SSO login

6 min read

by Mosyle Team

@mosyle_biz

How identity and device management improves Mac user experience with seamless SSO login

Currently it is very common that people use a unique login method to access multiple digital services and platforms, all integrated and seamless. When it comes to the workplace, it is not only a matter of user experience, but also security for the user and corporate data.

And that’s when we think about identity management, user authentication and provisioning. If you're not familiar these workflows, you're in the right place to get an overview about it.

In this article, we’ll cover what identity management is and how it plays a critical role in mobile device management at the workplace, helping companies and organizations provide the best experience to end-users while ensuring data security.

What is identity management?

Identity management provides several benefits not only for the company itself, but also for the end-users at the workplace. In general, identity management is creating and managing digital identity for people, devices or even processes, associating them with identification attributes.

It can be done within an identity provider, as we will discuss further in this article. By doing this, the company is able to build an authentication and provisioning system, enabling custom permissions and access.

From a company perspective, this greatly enhances data security in organizations, making it easier to control the access to the corporate data. In addition to that, identity management is also a great framework from an end-user perspective because it completely eliminates the sea of passwords since it is possible to access the resources available to that specific end-user using a single login.

In this scenario, it's very important to mention that the Technology team should work closely to the Human Resources team since the end-users should have access to the tools they need according to their positions, teams and responsibilities. It will definitely impact how you will manage identities in your company.

What do you need to implement identity management within your company? If the organization doesn't have an identity service provider, that's the first thing you should put on your radar.

What is an identity service provider?

As a definition, an identity provider is a system in which you are able to create, maintain and manage identity information. These systems provide authentication services within a federated or distributed network.

In practice, an identity service enhances security levels through user authentication processes while assisting you to allow users to use a single sign-on to access certain websites, applications and devices- which means that the end-user will be able to use the same credential to have access to the services they need.

Most enterprise companies use Microsoft Azure AD, AD Federation Services or LDAP Active Directory as their identity service providers. Another known identity provider widely used by organizations is the G-Suite provided by Google. Below, you can check out some of the identity service providers available currently:

Google Account (G-Suite)

G-Suite is a cloud computing service that offers Gmail, Drive, Calendar and more! When you use G-Suite as an identity provider, you can log in using your Google credentials.

Microsoft Account (Azure AD and Office 365)

Azure AD is Microsoft’s cloud-based identity service. You can use your Microsoft account credentials to log in if you use Azure AD/Office 365 as your identity provider.

AD Federation Services (AD FS)

Active Directory Federation Services is used to authenticate users and was created by Microsoft to work with Single Sign-On.

LDAP Active Directory

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) works with Active Directory to authenticate users by using LDAP servers.

On-Premise Active Directory

This type of AD is a local server that does not allow access to public servers. On-premise active directory only works with Mosyle Auth.

When using these services in your company, it's possible to simplify many user authentication workflows while ensuring identity and data security. All of this plays a very important role when managing your Apple devices because the integration with identity service providers can definitely bring security and user experience to a brand new level, especially when it comes to Mac management.

Why is identity management even more critical for Mac management?

When you create a user identity using the identity service provider, the system conducts a few operations, detecting the new user and evaluating it against access policies, allowing or blocking application access as well as the exact permissions the user’s identity is to be authorized.

Mobile device management software solutions provide the interface for the technology team to manage the server-related components of identity management, making possible to build the bridges between user authentication and device provisioning.

When it comes to Mac management, integrating the identity service provider to the MDM solution can bring an a level of ease to the Mac user experience, providing an enhanced Mac Login Screen Window. It means that once the Mac device boots up, the end-user just need to log in to your identity service on the screen and all configuration profiles will be automatically installed.

But how can the configuration profiles be so easily, remotely and automatically installed like that? The answer is DEP enrollment of the macOS devices. The DEP (Device Enrollment Program) currently works as a part of the Apple Business Manager portal. When integrating Apple Business Manager and also the identity service provider to a mobile device management solution that provides seamless single sign-on, authentication and provisioning capabilities, Mac Admins can accomplish the most streamlined Mac deployment available.

Let's suppose that your company uses Microsoft Azure AD as the identity service provider. With a framework like that, you're able to integrate this service to the MDM solution, pulling all the accounts used by the end-users to access their applications on their Mac devices. At the same time, you are able to configure the enrollment in order to further facilitate the log-in using the authentication and provisioning capability while you make sure all the basic configurations will be installed during the enrollment process by performing the integration between the ABM and the ASM. Now, the end-user can authenticate on the Mac computer using the Microsoft credential through the login screen window, as well as accessing the applications also with the same account.

In addition, the MDM solutions can provide IT administrators the most effective tools to offer for end-users the self-service interface that empowers them to boost their productivity while also providing autonomy in the workplace. That's why, including the enhanced Login Screen Window, the single sign-on can make it easier for the end-user to log into their self-service application. Using the same credential, they can access the digital workplace where they are able to download and install the recommended applications, books and commands.

But to use identity management in your Apple environment, you need to find the right mobile device management solution that has a built-in identity management feature. Mosyle Business offers you the most powerful capabilities, extended MDM features, agent application and also user authentication and device provisioning with the new Mosyle Auth beta solution.