With the growing digitalization in every industrial sector, businesses are deploying all kinds of digital devices to suit their needs. From providing employees with smart devices for work to installing public-facing kiosks, digital devices have found use-cases everywhere. Android is one of the most popular OS and is rapidly deployed by businesses today. Compared to the other leading OS, Android offers businesses greater flexibility at more competitive prices. According to a report, Android has over 2.8 billion active users, it has a global market share of 75 percent. Despite the enormous benefits that Android presents, businesses need to take Android security into consideration when planning a largescale deployment.
Android Security Challenges That Businesses Must Know
Android OS has several benefits for businesses and it is being adopted rapidly worldwide. But, deploying Android devices on a company-wide level presents certain security risks. It is important for you to understand the Android security challenges to prepare a mitigation plan.
Following are the Android security challenges that businesses must be aware of:
1. App Security
One of the most significant security risks that Android present is the apps downloaded from the Google PlayStore. Android is an open-source platform that comes integrated with Google PlayStore. The Google PlayStore offers a large variety of apps to its users. But, due to this loose curation, anyone can develop apps with malicious codes and upload them on the Google PlayStore. Even the apps that do have any malicious codes in them but have vulnerabilities in the software can be targeted by hackers to insert malware.
2. OS Version Fragmentation
Google routinely fixes all the security vulnerabilities in Android with every new system upgrade. However, Android models are produced by various manufacturers. Even businesses purchase and deploy Android devices of diverse OS versions. Enterprises control when their employees’ devices get their OS updated. In the case of a BYOD environment, this power lies in the hands of the employees themselves. Either way, untimely OS upgrades can expose system vulnerabilities and present entry points for hackers.
3. Device Loss/Theft
The physical security of your Android devices is as important as the security of the apps and data on them. Android devices are portable and easily prone to being lost or stolen. Your employees’ Android devices with corporate resources stored on them falling in the wrong hands is the last thing you want.
4. Improper Usage by Employees
We live in an age where remote working is normalizing and enterprise mobility is surging. BYOD management is common for several businesses as they allow their employees to use their personal devices for work. Employees shoulder a great responsibility when they access work resources on their personal Android devices. Improper security hygiene such as the use of poor passwords, sharing devices with friends and family, using unsafe WiFi connections, etc. can be a source of corporate data leakage.
Important Android Security Factors to Consider
To deploy Android devices for your diverse business needs, you must first tackle all the Android security challenges that stand in the way. The inability to efficiently secure your Android devices can lead to corporate data loss. Enterprises face legal actions, loss of revenue and customer loyalty if they ever suffer data leakage.
Here’s an Android security checklist for you to consider before you plan a largescale deployment:
1. Strong Data Security Policies
Businesses must first and foremost create stringent security policies for their Android devices. These security policies must define the Android device usage and security hygiene that is expected by employees. You can configure any number of security policies of your choice based on what your business demands. Enforcing passcodes, allowing or blocking specific websites, configuring compliance alerts, etc. are some of the many security policies that can help businesses steer clear of cyber threats.
It is necessary to understand that different devices need different security settings. For instance, Android devices deployed as public-facing kiosks must have security configurations to prevent their misuse. Restricting the use of hardware buttons and peripherals, pushing browser restrictions and Android device lockdown in single or multiple apps can prevent misuse of your unattended Android devices.
2. Timely OS and App Updates
OS and App vulnerabilities are one of the common sources of malware and cyber-attacks. When considering the organization-wide deployment of Android devices, businesses must find a way to ensure that their devices are always upgraded to the latest OS version. All the mobile apps that are present on the devices need to be routinely updated too. This is a complex task and consumes hours of precious IT time. Implementing comprehensive MDM solutions for Android can help businesses automate their OS and App updates. You can schedule your app and Android OS updates within a particular maintenance window.
3. Remote App Distribution
Every mobile-first business runs on a plethora of mobile apps. Google PlayStore offers extensive Android apps for various business use-cases. However, employees do not always know how to differentiate secure apps from untrusted ones. Businesses must consider remote large-scale provisioning of their Android device fleets with a limited set of trusted apps. Keeping in mind today’s enterprise mobility scenario, empowering IT admins to remotely distribute apps is a must. This prevents users from downloading unsafe apps accidentally and falling prey to malware infiltration.
4. Secure Remote Access
Sharing business-critical documents over the air is a capability provided by many software and tools. Remote working or hybrid work environments demand over-the-air file sharing. However, allowing employees to access sensitive business data on their Android devices can be a source of accidental data loss. Ensuring that your employees have secure access to your corporate resources is critical. You need to consider remote access security factors such as data encryption, enabling multi-factor authentications, enforcing strong passcode policies, etc. This adds a layer of security to your corporate data, even if it is being accessed beyond your office premises.
5. Safe Network Configurations
Ensuring that your Android devices connect to secure WiFi networks is crucial yet complicated. When working remotely, your employees tend to connect their devices to whichever internet network they find. Be it their home WiFi, or any public WiFi. It is impossible for businesses to track which WiFi their employees are using. Businesses must consider configuring network security measures on their Android devices. Pushing VPN settings and configuring Google SafetyNet Attestation or firewall are crucial ways to prevent exposing loopholes for hackers.
Almost every industrial sector has a frontline workforce that operates beyond office perimeters. Tracking your employees’ real-time locations with GPS configurations on your Android devices can be helpful. You can also configure Geofences to ensure that your employees do not exceed specified boundaries. Some modern-day MDM solutions for Android help businesses configure Geofence-based profile switching. This action changes the policies and settings on the Android devices automatically when a specific Geofence has been breached.
7. Remote Monitoring
When considering the overall security of your Android devices, it is important to understand that simply configuring security policies is not enough. Enterprises must constantly run compliance checks and analyze security violations to ensure that their Android devices are being used appropriately. Continuous monitoring of device usage, compliance violation patterns and security incidents of your Android inventory is crucial.
8. BYOD Security
As a part of the modern-day BYOD trend, businesses allow their employees to use their personal Android devices to work from anywhere. If you plan to adopt the BYOD work environment, it is important for you to consider the security aspects. Creating Android work profiles on your employees’ devices ensures the containerization of their corporate data. This helps keep the personal and professional data separate and allows businesses to push policies on their Android work profiles, without hampering the user experience.
Scalefusion MDM for Android Security
Once businesses have identified the security requirements that help them deploy Android devices in their organization, the next step is to implement the right tools to achieve this. Scalefusion MDM is an Android device management solution that helps businesses reinforce their corporate security using just a single unified platform.
With Scalefusion MDM, businesses can not only fulfill the above-mentioned security checklist but also minimize the workload on their IT teams. It is a simple and user-friendly console that allows businesses to deploy a large number of security configurations on their devices remotely. Scalefusion not only helps you manage your commercial company-owned or BYOD Android smartphones and tablets but also enables security and management of rugged devices and custom devices.
When it comes to corporate security, the best defense is a good offense. You can make the most of your Android deployments by creating an impervious security model for your business. Scalefusion MDM simplifies your largescale deployments and helps you gain finer control of your Android devices effortlessly.
Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints
Shambhavi is a Senior Content Writer at Promobi Technologies with prior experience in commercial writing, creative planning, product cataloging, and content strategizing. She is a "Biotechnologist turned writer" and believes that the inception of great ideas happens over coffee.
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