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What can IT do to enhance Android security?

Android is just as secure as its competitors' OSes, but IT should still remain vigilant. Here are three ways to secure Android devices for the enterprise.

Organizations often wonder if Google Android is secure enough for enterprise use, often as a result of hearing news of the latest Android exploit or a competitor's claims.

No OS is 100% secure, but current versions of Android OS are comparable to its competitors. However, IT must fully enable all the necessary security features inherent in the OS. IT should include three critical areas to heighten Android security for the enterprise.

Three steps to maximize Android security

First, IT should determine how many older Android devices are in use within the organization. IT shouldn't deploy any devices that are more than two generations behind the most current version of Android. It's critical to upgrade older devices to ensure that end users can take advantage of the latest Android security features. Newer devices that use Android Enterprise and vendor products such as Samsung Knox offer even higher levels of security. In BYOD environments, IT should restrict users from connecting to corporate systems with older, outdated devices.

Second, IT pros should load all devices with the periodic updates from Android, many of which address security issues. IT should check devices at least every 30 days for available updates and download new updates as soon as possible. This guarantees that the latest and most secure OS version is on each device. If IT admins cannot upgrade current devices, they should replace them.

Third, IT should deploy some form of management software, whether through a third-party service such as a mobile carrier, or through a unified endpoint management (UEM) product that IT manages. This allows IT to implement profiles and required settings to enable the most secure settings that will protect the organization and end users.

UEM products also allow organizations to take an inventory of all devices, which provides valuable information about the devices themselves such as model number and OS version. It also allows IT to automate updates and alerts to non-complaint devices and users.

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