In previous article about the Parallels SCCM plugin, I mentioned that version 3.0 was going to be out soon, and with it some new features. Those new features have come, so this post will be a brief introduction to those features.
One of the big features is the ability for the SCCM plugin to now hold FileVault encryption keys. FileVault is similar to BitLocker on Windows – it can do full disk encryption on Mac’s. This can be of huge benefit to large enterprises. It now allows for the recovery of these keys should the end user ever lose them. This is similar to allowing BitLocker keys to be stored in Active Directory.
There are two methods for doing FileVault with the SCCM plugin. The first method is creating an institutional key. With this method, the administrator creates a Keychain file with the recovery key. This recovery key can then be used to decrypt any Mac in the environment. It is vital to keep this key safe, because it will have the ability to decrypt any Mac in the environment.
The second method is for the Mac’s personal key to be stored in the SCCM database. When the device is encrypted, its personal key can be sent to the SCCM database. From there, the administrator can recover it. Using this method has its own draw backs. The key is viewable from the device properties menu for the Mac in the SCCM console. This means that you must be carefully about setting permissions, or these keys will be viewable by anyone with SCCM console access.
FileVault properties are set using Compliance Settings – just like the rest of the Mac configuration settings. Here is what the options will look like:
Configure the settings according to your organization’s standards.
The second feature added to version 3 of the Parallels plugin is the ability to use HTTPS for client communication. This allows for secure communication from the client to the primary server. You can also manage clients on the Internet. The features that it enables are the same for Windows computers. This is more advanced install of SCCM, and requires a certificate authority (CA) tied to your Active Directory. The setup is the same as if you are doing it for Windows.
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