Parallels Mac Management and PKI Certificates| Managing Mac with SCCM

For many organizations, a public key infrastructure (PKI) is a crucial part of their security architecture. Administrators have the option to set up Parallels® Mac Management for Microsoft® SCCM with a PKI mechanism to enable secure mutual authentication between a SCCM server and Mac® clients. This allows Mac clients so connect to SCCM servers securely via HTTPS.

Encrypted connections are relevant not only in sensitive environments and security-minded organizations but can quite generally protect communications between management servers and clients. Encrypted connections are actually required by Parallels Mac Management if clients are to be managed outside of the corporate network over the Internet. To enable this, IT teams must select the “HTTPS” option of the “Distribution Point Properties” when installing Parallels Mac Management.

Enabling encrypted connections

Windows Server 2008 or later is needed for employing PKI certificates. Mac clients need certificates issued by an instance trusted by SCCM. For this purpose, IT needs to create certificate templates, which requires installing the Windows Certification Authority if this has not already been done. A security group is also needed that has the right to request certificates. This is necessary for the proxy to receive its own certificate. Admins can find detailed steps for preparing these certificate templates in the best way for Mac on corporate networks in the Parallels Mac Management Administrator’s Guide.

While helping install Parallels Mac Management, the wizard will automatically identify an existing Windows Certification Authority and display it on the “Parallels Client certificate management settings” page. Under “Parallels Proxy certificate template,” admins can then select the certificate template prepared earlier. Expiring certificates are not a problem with Parallels Mac Management. The Parallels Mac Manager proxy can respond automatically and renew expiring clients’ certificates.

Learn more

Microsoft Docs – PKI Certificates | Windows Server 2008
Microsoft Docs | How to deploy Client Certificate for Mac Computers
Parallels Mac Management | Administrator’s Guide (PDF)
Microsoft Docs – PKI Certificates | How to Backup a Public Key-Infrastructure (PKI)

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