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s networks evolve and department needs change, the PC and workstation market has splintered. While Windows operating systems once dominated, macOS devices have risen steadily. Among desktops in the US, Windows is now at 61.8% market share while macOS has grown to 28.4%. When you consider other endpoints including tablets and smartphones, the market is even more divided – with Windows at 32.2% of all operating systems in the US.

Even though Microsoft and Apple have taken strides towards some level of compatibility, companies using both Windows and macOS workstations still run into several issues when managing the OS patching of the two systems. Different software versions must be purchased for each, and updating the two operating systems and their related applications becomes a time-consuming task.

Managing macOS endpoints has been no picnic for IT administrators because of the lack of device management solutions available. In the past, individuals using macOS devices may have been left to perform their own updates. It wasn’t until recently that Apple acquired a mobile device management (MDM) solution to counter the challenges of keeping the enterprise uniform. Despite the availability of the MDM solution, IT admins were still left with much overhead in provisioning or updating their macOS endpoints. As malware, viruses, and security flaws targeting macOS have increased, IT departments have had to be more vigilant in patching these workstations than ever before. Now, in addition to managing multiple software versions for two different OSes, many IT organizations also must leverage OS-specific endpoint security and management tools to keep these systems, plus their third party applications, up to date and protected.

The inability to easily patch macOS workstations has led to outdated systems existing in a company’s infrastructure. For example, a month after macOS Sierra was released, 35% of companies had failed to update. This has always been an issue for Windows users, with nearly 50% of companies still running Windows 7 after Windows 10 was released, and another 20% running even older, unsupported versions of Windows. As Apple prepares to release its Mac operating system macOS Big Sur, now is the time for IT departments to consider an endpoint management solution that can easily keep all their systems up to date and running the latest software.

Even with the threat of unpatched known vulnerabilities, IT Managers and SysAdmins struggle to find a simple solution for patching both Windows and macOS workstations efficiently. Vendor-provided systems like Microsoft WSUS for Windows only patch their own operating system along with a limited ability to patch third party applications.

Using different OS patching solutions for Windows and macOS can also create difficulties for reporting and don’t offer full system visibility. Consider now that many organizations have a majority of remotely distributed employees, and visibility becomes an even greater challenge. Configuring and maintaining multiple patching tools takes time and resources from IT teams who are asked to juggle patching with competing endpoint management and security priorities.

Fortunately, cloud-native patching and endpoint hardening platforms like Automox recognize the need for simple, effective OS patching across multiple platforms. Automox patches Windows and macOS from a single dashboard. Because the solution is cloud native, the workstations don’t have to be on premise behind a firewall. As long as they’re connected to the internet, they can be patched in real time.  This ensures all endpoints are consistently up to date. On-demand reporting of patch status is as easy as the push of a button, so key stakeholders are easily kept in the loop.

About Automox Automated Patching

Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.

Cloud-native and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.

Experience modern, cloud-native management today with a 15-day free trial of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface. Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.

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