Remote Wipe on Android: Why & How Companies Should Use It

Remote wipe on Android
Remote Wipe on Android

The Android proliferation in the corporate environment is real, more and more Android smartphones, tablets, rugged devices and special-purpose devices are used in the enterprise environment for several business purposes, across diverse industries. As Android devices enjoy huge popularity in the work environment, it is also critical to ensure that these devices are managed to maintain device performance, data security and business continuity.

When we discuss mobility, it is also important to consider the growing amount of personal Android devices used for work. When Android devices are used for work purposes, they contain sensitive information and business data that needs to be safeguarded at all times. In this article, let us learn how to handle threats to corporate data company-owned as well as employee-owned Android devices with remote wipe-off

Remote wipe-off: The need

As enterprises provision corporate as well as BYO Android devices to accelerate employee productivity and business growth, the most critical risk factors are the device and data security. These Android devices hold valuable business data that businesses cannot afford to be tampered with.

Enterprises can enforce several security measures on company-owned devices that are managed using Kiosk Mode in Android, to ensure that the data is not breached such as preventing app installation for protection against malware or blocking access to malicious websites etc.

But yet, there are a few risk factors that can hamper the security of the corporate data. The corporate data on the Android devices used for work is at risk when:

  • The device is stolen or lost. When the device is no longer in the possession of the employee, it is prone to misuse, unauthorized access by illicit means that are difficult to predict.
  • When the employees are no longer associated with the organization and their personal devices contain work profiles with business apps and data.

In such cases, the most urgent and crucial action to be taken for protecting corporate data is a remote wipe-off.

What is Remote Wipe-off?

Remote wipe-off is remotely wiping off or deleting the corporate data on the Android device used for work, that is lost or stolen. Remote wipe-off not only deletes the data on the phone storage but also wipes off the data on the business apps as well as the business apps on the device. Scalefusion kiosk app helps in securing corporate data on managed Android devices with a set of features that collectively help in remotely wiping-off the business data and apps.

How does remote wipe-off work on corporate-owned devices:

Scalefusion offers extensive policy settings to protect corporate data, device operations and functions using various management modes such as Android Kiosk mode, single app mode etc. On corporate-owned devices, IT admins can remotely wipe-off the corporate data, apps and settings on compromised devices by factory-reset. This ensures that the device is factory reset and all the data on it is erased. This ensures that data is not available for misuse.

To remotely wipe-off corporate devices, navigate to the Devices section of the dashboard. And click on Device details to remotely delete the device data and apps.

To quickly detect security threats and protect corporate data on company-owned devices, explore How to Protect Corporate Data on Lost/Stolen Devices.

How does remote wipe on Android works on employee-owned devices/ BYOD:

On employee-owned devices, companies cannot enforce a Factory reset since the device also contains employee’s personal data, settings and apps. Especially when the IT teams want to remotely wipe-off corporate data on the devices of employees who are no longer associated with the organization, they have to be extra vigilant to not impact employee’s personal data during the activity.

Scalefusion MDM helps to selectively wipe-off the corporate apps and data on employee-owned devices, remotely from the dashboard without affecting the personal data of the employees in multiple ways. It basically wipes-off the work profile on Android BYO devices.

Let’s see how remote wipe on Android works for employee-owned devices:

Remote Wipe-off when the employee device is stolen:

Step 1: While creating a BYOD device profile, configure work profile settings, navigate to the Work Profile Password settings under the restrictions tab. Enable Work Profile Password. This will ensure that whether or not employees set a password for their devices, the work container will be accessible only using a password. Make sure to enforce a complex password.

Step 2: Now configure the password management settings. You can set a password expiry period and history list. Ensure that you set an idle auto-lock or inactivity so that the work container is automatically locked after a certain period. And now set the number of failed attempts to reset. After the stipulated number of failed password attempts, the device will be remotely wiped-off by removing the work-profile. Note that this will not factory reset the device but will only remove the work apps and all work data.

Remote erase when the employee is no longer associated with the organization:

The remote wipe-off process for BYO devices is similar to that of corporate-owned devices, except that it remotely wipes-off only work apps and data and the employee device continues to function as is.

For this navigate to the Devices section on the Scalefusion dashboard. And select the device that you want to remotely wipe-off. Click on Delete device. The work apps and the data will be deleted.

To summarize..

Scalefusion ensures corporate data security with its extensive security features. With remote wipe-off, the corporate data on stolen, lost as well as retired Android devices can be remotely deleted, irrespective of the device ownership.

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Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops & laptops and other endpoints

Renuka Shahane is a Sr. Content Writer at Scalefusion. An engineering graduate, an Apple junkie and an avid reader, she has a 5+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for technology and web based startups.

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Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops & laptops and other endpoints