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Android 12 includes new features to help boost security for businesses

By Ken Wong - on 22 Oct 2021, 2:09pm

Android 12 includes new features to help boost security for businesses

Google is recognising that the way we work has changed and that not all of us have the support needed to activate and manage work profiles on our android based devices. And they just made some announcements around this with some new features in Android 12 with enterprise security in mind.

First off, Google is rolling out a Zero Trust security model. This means trust is never assumed, and access to corporate resources is continuously verified.


Bringing more transparency to employee privacy

Employees have a say as to what can be used on their phones. Image source: Google.

IT admins can allow employees to approve or deny sensor-related permissions, such as location and camera, to work profile apps. They can also set up Wi-Fi networks for employees through a new network API that doesn’t require user location permissions.

Users have more control over things like the microphone and camera indicators and controls to determine how much information and access they want them to share with apps with additional privacy tools.


Additional IT controls for admins

Extend security across all your android devices. Image source: Google.

One new addition here is network logging for the work profile, so organisations have another form of reporting and visibility for their work data.

IT admins can now decide what input method editors (IMEs) employees can use in their personal profiles. This will reduce the risk of keyloggers stealing passwords. IT will also be able to disable USB signalling for anything but charging, reducing the risk of USB-based attacks.

To help users and administrators find a balance between security and simplicity, IT admins can now easily set password requirements that meet modern security best practices by choosing between pre-set password complexity levels.


Better app management


This adds new ways to manage apps. Image source: Google.

For companies who use Android Enterprise with an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution, Android Management API is a cloud-based API that ensures the IT admins of these companies receive the fastest delivery of all of Android’s enterprise features, with best practices and Android Enterprise Recommended requirements set by default.=

And with the newly launched Android Management API Extensibility framework, EMMs can adjust Android Management API capabilities on the fly using on-device signals to trigger immediate policy changes if their business needs change.


Improving the separation of work and personal space

Google’s Work Profile tool for Android, lets users hide work apps and data with the flip of a switch and keeps their personal phone use separate from the company.

According to a blog post from the company, the feature is currently limited to phones an organisation manages, but Google says it’ll start to become available to people using Google Workspace in 2022. After that, it’ll branch out with the ultimate goal of letting anyone using Android for work flip a switch to make their business apps disappear.

This means even freelancers will be able to have a separation of their work and personal space.  


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