Jamf acquires Digita Security to gain native Mac security

Jamf has been widely known as an enterprise Mac deployment and management tool company, but it has been looking for ways to expand beyond those core capabilities. One thing it heard from customers was that there was a dearth of native Mac security tools. It checked that box today, announcing it has acquired Digita Security, a startup with a native Mac security suite. The two companies did not reveal the purchase price.

Digita, a two-year old startup, was founded by a team of security experts led by Patrick Wardle, whose background includes a decade as a Mac security researcher, seeking out vulnerabilities on the Mac, and time at the NSA where he honed his security research skills.

Wardle says that because of the relatively low Mac marketshare, many traditional security vendors haven’t paid close attention, which can lead to trouble. “Mac marketshare is somewhat limited, maybe around 10%. So the average company is not going to spend a lot of time and resources developing Mac-specific capabilities,” he said.

“From the hacker’s point of view, this is great news, because their backdoor implants are generally not going to be detected by traditional tools. What I’ve been working on the last few years, and then most recently at Digita Security, is creating a system that is Mac specific, that leverages Mac-specific and Apple-specific frameworks and technologies,” he added.

The Digita Suite consists of three main tools. It takes advantage of and enhances XProtect, the Mac’s built-in malware detection system with a tool called UXProtect, that provides a valuable missing front end to the tool. It also offers a Mac laptop security tool called Do Not Disturb that sends you message if someone tries to access your laptop without permission, and finally it offers a tool called Gameplan, a heuristic-based malware detection system.

Jamf plans to continue to market the Digita toolset as a set of stand-alone package for the time being, while taking advantage of the Jamf policy engine when it makes sense, according to company CEO Dean Hagar. “With Digita, we’re going to be able to bring a whole solution to our customers, In addition to leaving Digita as a solution that can be offered on its own, we will be able to complete that journey for our customers by being able to monitor and hunt for threats and apply security policy,” Hagar told TechCrunch.

The deal has closed and the five Digita Security employees are now part of the Jamf security team. Having a security tool like this in the fold could help make companies more comfortable deploying Macs by giving security teams the tools they need to monitor and defend them, which could in turn expand Mac usage in the enterprise.

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