What is Android Enterprise Security? How it Protect Company Data?
An IDC research shows that there will be more than 60% of employees use mobile devices for work by 2024. Android, the giant of the operation system market, is capturing the opportunity. Android devices that use for work are increasing.
Hence, Google formally puts forward Android Enterprise to provide the most secure solutions for companies. Questions raise.
- What is Android Enterprise?
- Is it secure?
- How does it protects devices and company data?
In this article, we will take you through Android Enterprise security and how it works.
1Worries about Android Devices Safety
Android devices are not, however, without problems. Like other systems, such as iOS, Android mobile devices are threatened by phishing and malware.
As the 2023 Global Mobile Threat Report released by Zimperium counts, 23% of mobile devices are victims of malicious applications. There 42% of enterprises said their security incident comes from mobile devices and apps.
Some examples of Android device security issues:
- Malware Exposure: there are unlicensed apps and is relatively easy to infect an Android device.
- Data Breach: company devices are routinely used to store sensitive data such as bank account information and login passwords. Therefore, critical data may be exposed in the event of device loss or theft, and insecure access to websites.
- Deferred updates: Android smartphones are typically not updated with the latest security fixes, making them susceptible to cyberattacks.
Because of its open-source characteristics, Android devices have more vulnerability concerns among companies.
Good news is, Android has an obvious drop in vulnerabilities of 33% in 2021, from 859 flaws to 574.
Moreover, the Google-lead enterprise-grade solution - Android Enterprise, provides multi-aspect security for business-used mobile devices.
2What is Android Enterprise?
Android Enterprise is a batch of developer files to help build Android system compatible devices and Android business device management software that meet enterprise security standards.
To understand it better, we can start with Android Enterprise management software.
Suppose you have a great number of Android mobile phones for work purposes, you will need a control center to bulk manage all your company devices. Android Enterprise MDM is the solution to help. And those Android Enterprise docs are to develop such a solution.
3Is Android Enterprise secure? What is Android Enterprise Security?
Is Android Enterprise secure? Of course, it is safe and it lends itself to all kinds of organizations. And Android Enterprise Security illustrates how it protects both your company devices and data.
Specifically, Android Enterprise Security is a couple of protection layers to secure an Android company device including the hard piece and its inner data. It is an extension of Google's Android for Work program, which grants businesses control over mobile devices.
Security can be classified into two parts.
Android Built-in Security
1. Android Operating System
The Android operating system is used on mobile devices. It provides multiple built-in features to ensure the device's safe and secure operation.
For instance, the encryption of data. Android system supports File-Based Encryption, which enables to encrypted of the device storage with different keys, and Backup Encryption, a feature to use random key for data decryption.
As Android updates its OS version to 13, security to protect company gets stronger. The system introduces Lost mode to locate company-owned devices and it enables the IT team to remotely lock down the device. This is beneficial to handle lost or stolen handsets.
2. Google Security Services
A GMS Android device is placed in a safe app installation environment by Google Play Protect. The protection helps to scan malware. In addition, Google Play Protect scans your device for potentially malicious applications in order to safeguard your data.
Google Play Store is another defense. Google will test and certify apps that are launched in the store.
MDM or EMM providers must comply with App Defense Alliance collaboration principles as well.
3. Android Compatibility Program
As stated in Android Enterprise Security white paper, whether to build an Android mobile device or software, developers have to use Android compliance documents conforming to safety regulations, that are AOSP code, CDD (Compatibility Definition Document), and CTS (Compatibility Test Suite).
The program helps to ensure that manufacturers will meet the mandated security requirements.
Security provided by the Third Party
Android Enterprise management software, that is to say, those EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) and MDM (Mobile Device Management) providers like AirDroid Business, offer additional security features like enterprise cloud-hosted containerization services, management for device settings, apps, and files, and supervision as well.
4How does Android Enterprise Security work and protect company devices?
1Secure Device Data
Data security is the first consideration when enterprises apply Android for work. Android Enterprise Security protects both employees’ private data and company data.
An Android company-owned smartphone has Work profile secure feature planted in system setting.
With the Android built-in security, employees can separate their personal data and installed apps from the whole device. Work-related activities will not affect private use so that make sure their personal info is kept from organization access.
Android Enterprise Encryption
This is a part of Android Enterprise Security to prevent company data leaks. The encryption with stored cryptographic keys will add difficulty to stealing device data.
2Secure App Installation
Android mobile devices suffer from malware a lot. Thus, to give a double check to installation and a healthy app ecosystem can help secure work-used devices. And Google sets up three safeguards in Android Enterprise Security.
Google Play Protect
It’s a service to detect malicious apps by keeping eye on Android devices at all times. So malware can be removed or prohibited automatically.
Google Play App Review
To better reduce the harm from malware, applications will be reviewed by Google Play before release. Such audits can effectively block unsafe apps.
3Secure Network Access
Network is sometimes a source of security threats, particularly when a company device connects to unknown Wi-Fi and VPN. Android Enterprise uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) to support network security.
Companies are able to activate Private DNS mode in device network settings in order to avoid DNS query leakage.
WPA3-Enterprise is available for mobile devices with Android 10 and higher. It makes good use of more advanced technology to protect Wi-Fi access.
Device admin can use VPN lockdown mode to block network traffic. In this way, apps and websites that need a network will be disabled.
4Secure by MDM Solutions
Android Enterprise Security has listed EMM and MDM executives in the white paper as they can implement protective tactics to secure company data. This is usually achieved through a management tool.
In an MDM console, the company IT team can create several policies for mandatory rules to deploy on the mobile device. For example, long password enforcement, shut-off network connectivity, setting up alert triggers, restricting access to company documents, etc.
The MDM solution can decide what apps to use by creating a whitelist/blacklist for app installation. Besides, it can remote update the app to latest version to deal with security breaches.
This lockdown feature is able to limit employees to use specific apps or websites only. Not only it will reduce cyberattacks and data leakages, but also increase the efficiency of work.
The damage of a lost device to the company is far more than property loss. It’s more serious due to the sensitive data. At this point, reset password and wipe device data remotely are emergency remedies to handle it. And management admins can take operations on MDM control center.