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How to Disable Hardware Keys on Android devices using Scalefusion?

  • July 14, 2017

As an organization, when you adapt to mobility and usage of more and more mobile devices for work, you expect better operations and efficiency. Isn’t? But, it is equally concerning when these devices are misused for personal use or are fiddled by the users. Even after locking these devices with the help of various lockdown apps for restricted usage, users are nowadays smart enough to find out ways to remove these apps from the devices.

How locked down Android devices are susceptible to misuse by users?

Many users know how to use the hardware keys to remove any kind of restrictions applied by mobile device management software and even device or system settings. These users, by misusing the hardware keys, delete critical data, apps and even reconfigure the devices as they want. For an e.g. when in safe mode, they can try and uninstall the lockdown app and the device is then no longer locked and he uses it for his own purpose. To escape device tracking, they switch the device into flight mode, even when they are not in the flight so that admin cannot track that device from the dashboard. Smart isn’t? If you are thinking that these are only the things which users can do then let’s accept the fact that whenever a new technology is introduced, our super- smart users will immediately find out loopholes to try to defeat that technology!! So, the concerning thing is that there are various such examples which can put devices and data security in jeopardy which no enterprise can afford…

Any solutions?

The answer is Yes. you can disable hardware keys on Android devices. For the same reasons as above, certain Android device manufacturers like Samsung and LG have SDKs ( Software Development Kit ) Knox and LG Gate respectively. Scalefusion, a Mobile Device Management Software, leverages this feature and help enterprises to have better control & management of the devices ensuring their usage for the specified purpose only.

Have better control and management over Cloud of company-owned mobile devices with Scalefusion

Scalefusion locks the Android devices over the cloud to use them for a specific business purpose only and all the enrolled devices can be managed easily from a web-based console. It enables you to whitelist websites and allows only certain apps which avoids unnecessary browsing and controls data usage. It has various other features like location tracking in real-time, geo-fencing, enterprise store to name a few, making it an efficient mobile device management solution.

How Scalefusion Disable Hardware Keys that leverages Samsung Knox features for enhanced security?

At the time of enrollment of the Samsung devices for Scalefusion, Samsung Knox is activated on the devices, thereafter admin can apply/activate different security settings as per the requirement of different devices.

Device Name

Factory reset setting can be disabled on the devices so that the user cannot remove the lockdown software or even delete any data and any other apps by restoring the devices to factory settings.

Under boot options, you can disable the airplane, safe and guest mode, as in many instances, the user keeps their devices in flight mode to go beyond the pre-set Geo-fence and escape device tracking.

In case of a multi-window view, if enabled, users can view the apps and websites which are disabled in lockdown mode by Scalefusion, which overrides the kiosk mode settings. So to avoid it, Scalefusion admin can overcome by disabling the multi-window view itself.

Setting_Device

Device Setting

However, all the controls are not only for safeguarding the use but they also provide convenience to the users. For e.g. a user is filling a form in the browser and accidentally presses the home key, if not disabled then he will lose all the data which he had entered in the form and will have to start filling it from scratch. In addition to the home key, Scalefusion Admin can disable the back key and App switch keys as well.

For better data security, USB access is controlled by disabling MTP access and connection of devices via USB access. When the user connects USB or the device to any other devices like a laptop by a data cable, no data transfer can happen from either of the devices. This avoids unnecessary transfer of critical company data on company-owned devices to the other personal devices.

All the above security settings are set right from the time of enrolling the devices but if it is not done, Admin can later apply the settings from the Scalefusion dashboard.

To conclude, Android devices used in organizations for business purpose can be precisely managed by leveraging the security features of the device manufacturers.  We have described here only about Samsung Knox, but in the same way, other Android devices can also be controlled and managed by enabling or disabling the hardware keys and controls.

To get more in-depth knowledge on mobility and Scalefusion mobile device management, visit our website https://scalefusion.com/

About the Author

Nema Buch is a Research & Marketing professional, also writes for Scalefusion on Enterprise Mobility trends, SaaS, and different Industry Verticals.

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