How to better manage mobile (iOS and Android), Windows and macOS updates with MaaS360

I wrote this article when I worked at IBM.  I’m now working at VMware supporting partners and clients with Workspace One.  See here for further details. 


 

MaaS360 is well regarded to providing support for a broad range of mobile, PC and Mac operating systems.   MaaS360 currently supports iOS, Android (including ruggedized devices), Windows (from XP to Windows 10) and macOS.

Keeping these devices secure with the latest features and security patches (if applicable for the operating system) can be simplified using MaaS360 Unified Endpoint Management.

Mobile operating systems have different approaches for both providing updates.  Applying patches for Windows operating systems is particular important from a security perspective.

As outlined in the IBM article Six Major Data Breach Trends From 2017“while advanced zero-day attacks can be a formidable threat, they are more often the stuff of fear and legend. In fact, according to the IBM X-Force vulnerability database, less than 1 percent of vulnerabilities in 2016 were considered zero-day vulnerabilities — that is, flaws exploited in the wild for which patches do not exist. Failure to patch existing critical vulnerabilities is most often the cause of havoc on a global scale, particularly when there is a huge number of vulnerable endpoints”

The following article details how MaaS360 can not only provide the visibility organizations require on their cross platform operating systems, but provides a range of technologies to easily update operating systems and 3rd party applications.

Operating System Inventory

The MaaS360 portal allows administrators to easily know the operating system versions across all operating systems as shown below.

Hardware Inventory - OS

MaaS360 includes a readiness report for Windows 10, to allow an organisation to determine if their PC fleet has the hardware resources to support this operating system based on free space, memory and processor speed.

Windows 10 Readiness

Compliance Rules

MaaS360 includes a range of automated compliance rules including minimum and maximum operating system versions.  A minimum version can be details as shown below.

Compliance - OS Version

 

If the operating system version isn’t updated to the minimum, a range of compliance rules can be enabled.

Compliance - Enforcement

MaaS360 Advisor

Made possible by the MaaS360 integration with Watson, MaaS360 Advisor delivers opportunities, risks and general information.  Advisor sources insights from structured data, such as cloud-sourced content from MaaS360 customer environments, and unstructured data, such as information from the X-Force Exchange, giving administrators ample, relevant context to make their most important decisions.  This capability as shown below can highlight particular operating system issues which should be given higher priority.

Watson Advisor

Manage iOS Updates

Apple iOS is renowned for its speed and user experience to update the operating system.  According to Apteligent, iOS 11 is now deployed on over 81% of all devices (as of March 2018)

iOS provides alerts for new updates and allows a convenient scheduled option, to allow updates to occur overnight if the device is plugged into power.

If the iOS devices are supervised, MaaS360 can push iOS updates as shown.

iOS - Push update

MaaS360 also supports the shutdown and restart of iOS supervised devices.

Some organisations need additional time to test their applications on new versions of iOS. Therefore starting with iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4, administrators are able to specify a number of days to delay a software update, with a maximum delay of 90 days. With this option enabled, the user of the device will not see a software update until the specified number of days has passed since the release.

Manage Android Updates

The mix of different Android versions according to Apteligent is quite different.  There is quite an even use of Android KitKat (12.27%), Lollipop (20.16%), Marshmellow (25%) and Nougat (34.7%).  The latest Oreo release is only 3.3% as of March 2018.  Google’s Project Treble will certainly allow Android releases to be updated much faster over time.

MaaS360 supports Android system update management with Android Enterprise (Device Owner operation) as shown below:

Android - Update management

Previously, all users received and installed firmware updates, without IT having any control over it. On top of that, the unplanned firmware updates would sometimes break the enterprise apps due to compatibility issues.

MaaS360 can now address this by managing firmware for Samsung devices.  MaaS360 integrates with Samsung Enterprise FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air) and includes selective, forced and time controlled firmware management.  For further details, please see this article.

E-FOTA Updates

Manage Windows Updates

MaaS360 supports updates (via patches) of Windows 7 through to Windows 10.  This is provided via our native patch management service.  Patches are delivered via our worldwide content delivery network.  The necessary patches required for each workstation are shown in the portal as follows:

OS Patches - Windows

You’ll also see that MaaS360 supports the patches of a range of 3rd party applications such as Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, Firefox, Notepad and many other applications.

App Updates - Windows

Alternatively, MaaS360 can configure Windows 10 to apply firmware updates to be applied directly from Microsoft or an internal WSUS server as shown below:

Windows 10 - Update Management

Manage macOS Updates

MaaS360 also provides an integrated service to update Apple macOS and 3rd party applications as shown below:

macOS - OS Patches

Alternatively, MaaS360 can configure macOS to apply updates from a software update server and App Store settings as shown below:

macOS - Software Update Settings

Unified Endpoint (OS) Management

As outlined above, MaaS360 provides organizations a truly unified management platform to keep all devices updated and therefore more secure.

If you have any questions on any of the above capabilities, please feel free to post your query to our community forum, or contact me directly via my blog contact page.

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