Using JumpCloud Policies to Secure Remote Systems

Written by Zach DeMeyer on April 6, 2020

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Need to maintain control over your system fleet while your workforce is remote? Using JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, organizations can apply Policies to secure remote Windows®, Mac®, and Linux® systems by preventing attack vectors before they become issues.

How Policies Support and Secure Remote Work

We live in a new era, where enabling employees to work from their homes as if they were in the office is swiftly becoming a core competency for IT departments. Unlike when they’re on-premises, remote workers are out of IT’s direct sphere of influence, meaning that sysadmins need to leverage tools that will set their remote end users up for success from the get go.

Naturally, a solid place to start is their device, the one resource they need to access all of their IT resources (applications, files, servers, VPN/WiFi networks, etc.). Using JumpCloud Policies, IT admins can establish device security — regardless of where the admin or user finds themselves.

What are JumpCloud Policies?

JumpCloud Policies are a cloud directory service analogue to Group Policy Objects (GPOs), most famously used via Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) to manage on-prem Windows® systems en masse. 

JumpCloud Policies work in a similar fashion to AD GPOs, except for two crucial factors. Unlike GPOs, Polices aren’t limited by the operating system they work on; Policies can be used on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, including CentOS 7 servers as well. In addition, JumpCloud Policies can be applied to entire system fleets based on their group, or to individual systems as necessary — regardless of their location.

The process starts with either the web-based JumpCloud Admin Portal or the JumpCloud PowerShell Module, which can be run directly from the admin’s machine (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Admins can use either tool to choose a Policy, configure its level of control, and then push the Policy to a system, group of systems, or an entire fleet. The Policy is almost instantly applied to the user’s device through the JumpCloud system agent, completing the process.

Examples of JumpCloud Policies

Policies apply key security settings on the operating system level. Some examples of Policies include:

  • Bitlocker / FileVault 2 [Windows / Mac]: These Policies govern full-disk encryption (FDE), encrypting entire hard drives. 
  • Firewall Controls [Windows, Mac]: Using the Mac Local Firewall Control, Windows Firewall, and Windows Defender Policies, IT administrators can ensure their firewalls are configured and active.
  • Removable Storage [Windows, Mac, Linux]: Admins can use these Policies to control how a system behaves regarding removable storage options. The Linux version only applies to USB device control.
  • Lock Screen [Windows, Mac]: The Lock Screen Policy controls how long a Windows or Mac system takes to lock its screen and require a password for unlock.
  • Hardening [CentOS 7]: Admins can configure the initial setup and maintenance of Linux servers, including increasing network security and managing service hardening standards and requirements.
  • OS Updates [Windows, Mac]: The System Updates and Configure Windows Updates Policies allow admins to govern when systems update their OS by scheduling routine updates or pushing back new versions as necessary.

You can see all of the Policies JumpCloud has to offer here.

What is JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service?

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is the first cloud directory service, reimagining the likes of Active Directory® and LDAP for modernized IT environments. Using JumpCloud, IT admins can remotely manage devices and control end user access to resources from the cloud, centralizing user identities for security and convenience. 
You can learn more about what else Directory-as-a-Service can do through our Product page. Or, if you’re more of a hands-on person, you can try JumpCloud for free for up to ten users and see what it can do yourself.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a Product Marketing Specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, music, and soccer.

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