When buying a smartphone, most users forget that Android can be used for business applications. With Android 13, organizations can adapt the employee interface when using company devices by making it simple to initiate and control new features, thanks to the upgraded Android Management API.
With new features like Lost Mode, IT admins can prevent unauthorized access and display company contact information on the device screen and the Stay Private on Work Wi-Fi feature helps strengthen employee privacy on company Wi-Fi by encrypting personal data.
Protected lock screen and data encryption are part of android’s built-in security features and with each version, Android Enterprise’s security strengthens with platform improvement, user interface and new administration capacity.
Nowadays, many employees choose to work from home, not just from the office, which means that maintaining security on mobile devices has become more challenging than ever before. Let’s see what exactly Android Enterprise is and how secure it is.
What is Android Enterprise? Is it Secure?
Simply put, Android Enterprise enables the use of Android devices in the workplace and is a combination of Android Security and Management features, such as strong security features in -the platform, android business device management and configuration tools for devices and apps and extensibility to provide innovative solutions.
1. Advanced security features
Customer records, financial data and intellectual property are one of the main concerns when it comes to expanding mobility to Enterprise Employees. Android provides comprehensive protection from the hardware, to the OS platform, Google Play protection and security management.
Android vulnerability has decreased in 2021, with 574 liabilities discovered last year, most of them characterized by low attack complexity. However, as of September 2022, Android is the world’s most used operating system, with 43% of the global market, ranking first in the market share.
2. Work Profiles
By enabling Work Profiles, Android separates personal and enterprise apps, as well as data and usage with the help of encrypted containers within Android devices to store work data. Employees can choose to open an app in either their personal or Work Profile, and whether their devices are corporate owners or the company supports a BYOD policy, IT can decide whether to allow end users to share or fully separate work data from personal.
Work apps can also use NFC for digital access badges and tap-to-pay Phone Hub to allow users to respond to and access work messages, notifications, and pictures on mobile devices from a corporate Chromebook.
3. Lost mode and Stay private on Work Wi-Fi
Both of these features will be available through the Android Management API; Lost Mode allows IT admins to locate company-owned devices, prevent unauthorized access or display company contact information on the device screen. Stay Private on Work Wi-Fi will automatically encrypt internet traffic for personal profiles when employees are on company Wi-Fi. As far as android compliance policy goes, all devices must meet certain rules.
What is Android Enterprise Security?
Android Enterprise Security helps keep company data safe and personal data private with multi-layered protection and full-device management options or separation of work and personal data.
From hardware-backed security to a strong OS(Operating System) that isolates and reduces threats to maintain device integrity, Android provides an effective security system both for your device and data.
Android has an operating system that utilizes industry-leading techniques with strong app isolation. Other techniques like the separation of corporate and personal data are implemented in combination.
A secure OS that runs parallel to Android is Trusty, which provides a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) for Android and its OS and runs on the same processor as the Android one. The only difference lies in the fact that it’s isolated from the system by hardware and software.
The Android compatibility program pushes for the growth of the diverse Android community, including customers and developers and it serves as a purpose for developers to be creative when it comes to building apps. Their overall goal is to provide a consistent environment for developers and users.
The device manufacturers and the program’s goals are to provide a consistent application and hardware environment to application developers.
This means that the compatibility program provides a precise definition of what developers can expect from a compatible device in terms of APIs and capabilities, making sure that their apps will run well on any compatible device.
Google Play Protect
Google Play Protect checks apps when you install them and it also periodically scans your device for harmful behavior. If any malware is found, it will send you a notification, disable the app until you uninstall it or automatically remove it.
The API provides access to data that can be incorporated into different types of applications. Developers use APIs to format difficult files inside their applications to collect data automatically, rather than doing all the work manually.
Device Management Solution:
Corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) is a strategy implemented when an organization purchases and provisions IT assets and devices to be actioned and regulated by team members.
There are two main verified solutions used for COPE:
1. MDM solution
This type of security technology allows admins to monitor, manage and secure devices (corporate or personal) that run across multiple operating systems. It covers tablets and smartphones, predominantly driven by iOS and Android operating systems.
2. EMM solutions
EMM solutions provide a single console to help your organization secure and manage your organization’s devices as your IT department can easily control it from in-house.
Device manufacturers, like PC manufacturers, for example, commonly integrate OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts like software or processors into the solutions they sell. The new industry standard for Android device management is OEMConfig, which solves enterprise devices’ lack of management features.
How does Android Enterprise Security Protect Your Devices?
Protected by Android built-in security
Protected by Android is the new security branding for the OS and brings together all the security features built into Android devices.
1. Work profile
A work profile separates work apps and data from personal apps. This means that your apps and data remain private, while your organization manages your work apps and data.
2. Verified Boot
Verified boot ensures that devices are running a safe version of Android and also for the correct version of Android with rollback protection.
3. WPA3 and Wi-Fi Enhanced Open
Both WPA3 and Wi-Fi Enhanced Open improve overall Wi-Fi security, providing better privacy. Wi-Fi Enhanced Open is a security standard for public networks based on opportunistic wireless encryption (OWE) and provides encryption and privacy on open, non-password-protected networks in libraries, restaurants or cafes.
4. Lockdown mode:
Once lockdown mode is activated, gaining access to your device requires one of 3 things. You can enter a personal identification number, saved keyword, or swipe pattern. Enterprise administrators can remotely lock the work prole and evict the encryption key from memory on enterprise devices by using this feature.
5. File-based encryption (FBE) & full-disk encryption
Two of the most common encryptions are based on what part of a drive/disk is encrypted:
1. Full-disk encryption (FDE)
Full-disk encryption is the encryption of every piece of data on the disk, using a single encryption key.
2. File-based encryption (FBE)
Each file in a disk/drive can be encrypted with a different key, and require the key to be decrypted even if the device is not locked.
Protected by Android MDM solution
This feature provides system visibility, remote app management capabilities, automatic security updates and installs, kiosk mode, security alerts, geolocation or geofencing that can auto-lock lost or stolen devices so IT administrators can manage and secure devices.
MDM alerts notify IT, admins, about a device to report a device malfunction so this issue can be resolved right away, saving time and labor costs.
2. Remote locks
Remote locks allow you to locate, call, lock and erase mobile device data by resetting the password and the phone cannot be unlocked until the correct password is introduced.
3. Remote Factory Reset
This feature allows you to remove all data from your mobile device if it ever gets lost or stolen, including the apps from your device.
4. Restricted Access
Restricted Access will restrict the availability of potentially mature or objectionable content on the device.
5. Secure Connection and Data Encryption
Encryption can add protection in case your device is stolen and stores your data in a manner that can be read only when your phone or tablet is unlocked. Unlocking your encrypted device decrypts your data.
Protected by Google Play
Google Play Protect checks for Apps that are deceptive, malicious, or intended to abuse or misuse any network, device, or personal data, which are strictly prohibited according to Google Play policy.
1. What is the Android enterprise security white paper?
The security white paper describes the way Android has tackled security for public and private organizations, offering a multi-layer security strategy with unique ways to keep data and devices safe.
2. What is Android Enterprise Recommended?
Android Enterprise Recommended it’s a short list of services and devices that meet Google’s enterprise requirements and make it simple for businesses to select, deploy and manage Android devices.
3. How to get started with Android Enterprise?
To get started with Android Enterprise, go to Devices > Enroll devices. Select Android enrollment. Under Enrollment profiles, choose Corporate-owned, fully managed user devices- the setting for Allow users to enroll corporate-owned user devices has to be set to “Yes”. You can also check airDroid Business, which is an Android Mobile Device (MDM) Solution that focuses on business-scaled Android device management.
After renaming the Android for work platform to Android Enterprise, Google incorporated more enhanced features for enterprise-level device management. These new tools and features are beneficial not only to the employees but also to the IT department.
This post was originally written by Sidonia Fuleki and uses several references sourced from various industry-related websites.