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Take the 10 Decisive Steps Needed to Secure Android Enterprise Devices

Jun 05, 2020 | 42Gears Team

Secure Android Enterprise devices

Android has changed the way organizations do business. Around the world, businesses use a wide range of enterprise-specific Android devices to enable their workforce- be they frontline workers or knowledge workers. Android once struggled with a reputation for being vulnerable to threats, but over time, Android has evolved to become a more secure, manageable, and flexible platform that meets the needs of almost any modern business.

When it comes to the security of Android devices, we cannot stress the importance of Android Enterprise (AE) enough. Its introduction changed the game for mobile device management (MDM) vendors, and by extension, the customers of those MDM vendors. With a wide range of APIs, AE allows MDM vendors to consistently offer unprecedented management capabilities across all Android devices in the workplace Some of the most widely-used MDM features, such as zero-touch enrollment, security updates and management features, have been made possible by Android Enterprise APIs. This has also made Android the platform of choice for most businesses.

Why Do We Need Enhanced Security on Android Devices?

As Android devices have become important business tools, Android Enterprise is an essential aspect of any deployment; however, AE by itself is not sufficient for businesses to fully secure devices and software. Businesses must implement additional security measures to safeguard themselves from malware attacks.

The constantly-evolving threat landscape makes it imperative for businesses to use dynamic tools that can evolve along with threats.

Researchers from the firm Check Point noted that they “examined cyberattacks in the first half of 2019 and found that those targeting smartphones and other mobile devices have risen by 50% compared with last year.” The report suggests that security experts should be attuned to the ever-changing security landscape and the latest threats and attack methods. AndroidBauts, one of the top mobile malware in 2019, targets Android users, exfiltrating IMEI, IMSI, GPS location, and other device information and allowing threat actors to steal information by installing third-party apps and shortcuts on mobile devices.

How IT Can Ensure Comprehensive Security on Android Devices

Android Enterprise offers several layers of security to resolve vulnerabilities and secure business data. With the help of a mobile device management (MDM) solution, businesses can assume total control of frontline worker devices.

SureMDM, a robust enterprise device management solution, helps businesses address enterprise security needs with a robust suite of data and device security controls.

Data Security Features Offered by 42Gears

1. Data encryption

The modern workforce accesses data from multiple business devices, but only some of those devices are secure. This not only makes business data unsafe, but also increases the risk of data loss as employees copy-paste business data to external devices and removable media, or use vulnerable third-party web applications. This is why data encryption is necessary to protect business data, whether the data is in transit (moving between locations) or at rest (stored on a single device). Encrypting data using digital signatures ensures data security and integrity.
42Gears helps businesses to encrypt both data at rest as well as in transit. Encrypted connections, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TSL), are used for protecting data in transit. Data at rest is encrypted using disk and database encryption.

2. Password policy

SureMDM allows IT admins to enforce password policies so they can define rules for setting passwords on end-user devices (such as mandating minimum levels of complexity and length), and require users to change those passwords periodically. This ensures that each user has set strong passwords, and prevents unauthorized access to each device’s features and files.

3. Compliance policy

IT teams need a way to easily ensure that users cannot use devices in ways that jeopardize business data.  SureMDM’s compliance policy features help IT teams configure compliance rules and detect non-compliant actions (such as jailbreaking devices, changing SIM cards, and using easily-guessable passwords). IT teams can set alerts and notifications to detect non-compliance and trigger disciplinary measures (like blacklisting devices or wiping all business data from them).

4. Telecom policy

Businesses require a way to manage and restrict how employees consume data when using devices away from Wi-Fi connectivity. SureMDM allows businesses to monitor and manage mobile data expenses by allowing IT admins to remotely configure data usage thresholds and check call and SMS logs on enrolled devices and device groups. They can configure settings to receive automatic notifications when devices cross those thresholds and even restrict or disable network access on those devices.

Moreover, SureMDM allows IT admins to generate on-demand custom reports to check data usage on individual devices and device groups.

5. Authentication

Frontline workers need easy but secure access to business applications and resources to work efficiently. IT admins must be able to provide them role-based access to ensure information security. SureMDM helps IT admins provide secure access to business resources by integrating various authentication methods such as Active Directory (AD) authentication, SAML, OAuth and multi-factor authentication. While AD authentication helps manage a large number of enrolled devices, multi-factor authentication protects devices against attacks and reduces the number of technical incidents caused by devices being locked as a result of using an incorrect password.

6. Safe and secure content distribution

Admins can securely manage the flow of content through SureMDM’s File Store option. IT admins can create a document library in the File Store and share applications and documents like images, videos and other files across enrolled Android devices. The admin can then remotely and silently push these files to devices through a Job without any intervention from end-users.

7. Application distribution through a secure gateway- SureMDM app store

Applications are an integral part of any business operations. The Android Enterprise platform allows MDM vendors to build a Managed Play Store. Unlike the commercial Play Store, the Managed Play Store uses AE APIs and tools to easily add, distribute, update and manage enterprise applications. Relying on a Managed Play Store not only facilitates the provisioning of enterprise applications and enables remote management, but also gives end-users the flexibility to browse applications, view details, and install them as needed.

8. Restricting peripherals

To prevent distractions or security concerns in stores or in-the-field, IT teams need to enforce a wide range of mobile policy controls on frontline worker devices. These policy controls include restricting peripheral features such as the camera, Wi-Fi, mobile data consumption, Bluetooth, and more. SureMDM and SureLock offer a way to remotely configure advanced kiosk settings and restrict peripheral features on task worker devices.

Alternatively, IT admins can configure location-, network- and time- based profiles on devices to restrict peripheral usage within a specified time window or geographical location, or only when connected to secure Wi-Fi networks.

9. Network policies- Secure VPN

With the increase in the use of remote access technologies, businesses must mandate the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Enabling a VPN not only ensures that your business data is safe, but also offers additional benefits. A VPN protects your privacy online by establishing an encrypted tunnel between your local network and a destination server. IT admins can leverage network settings policies offered by 42Gears SureMDM for Android Enterprise. With SureMDM, IT teams can silently install and enable a VPN client by pushing a set of configurations (or a “profile”) to each device. By installing user certificates and certificate authority, a VPN can be used to securely access data present within an enterprise network over the internet.

10. Secure gateway email configuration- MEM

IT Pros need to let frontline workers access email when necessary- while also preventing data loss and unsafe behaviors, and encrypting sensitive information. SureMDM allows IT admins to provide secure controlled access to emails on managed and compliant devices. SureMDM’s mobile email management policies prevent data loss through various measures, such as disabling copy/paste functionality, disabling the ability to take screenshots, and preventing email printing.

Ensuring endpoint security on all enterprise devices is the basic requirement for all businesses. Businesses must prioritize security and protect their device fleet with a holistic solution that restricts malware and network attacks at the grass-root level. 42Gears is committed to protecting business data on endpoints by continuously offering best-of-breed mobility solutions. Businesses must implement IT controls needed to secure, manage, and monitor Android endpoints.

Make Android Devices Business-Ready with Android
Enterprise and SureMDM


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