With each android update that comes through, there are always a number of bug fixes and minor improvements. Although, sometimes those minor improvements come in the form of more major improvements. This was largely the case when it came to Android releasing their latest mega update to the android operating system in the form of Android 5.0 (Lollipop). In among the varied number of major improvements, there were also significant improvements to the way in which security was dealt with. At the time, one of those improvements was the use of ‘Encryption by default’. This meant that data was automatically encrypted out of the box. In contrast and on previous android versions, this type of encryption had to be activated by the user. As such, the ‘by default’ change meant Lollipop was far more secure as an operating system. Not to mention that at the time, this was seen to be a step in improving the public’s view of Android and security, which had in the past led to some people believing iOS was a safer operating system than android.
With the latest version of android, Android 5.1 being officially announced yesterday, there was another new feature which was introduced and further designed to protect users security and data. The new feature, dubbed ‘Device Protection’ offers a greater degree of delete and wipe, when a device is lost or stolen. In fact, according to Google, Device Protection will mean that a device can be fully wiped (even if it has been factory reset after going missing) and will require the original Google credentials to reactive. Thus ensuring, data is not only safe, but the value of the missing or stolen device is substantially reduced, with the device effectively becoming useless.
One of the security companies who came out publicly declaring the use of default encryption on Lollipop as a massive step forward for android, was CoSoSys. Being a company who specialises in Data Loss Prevention (DLP), the acknowledgement of Default Encryption was a beneficial one. Now, CoSoSys have again come out commenting on the latest 5.1 addition and how Device Protection will be another positive step by Google and one which will quickly be adopted by Mobile Device Management (MDM) vendors. According to CoCoSys CEO, Roman Foeckl, “Both Enterprises and professional users require these features that Google added and we should expect to see MDM Vendors add support for Device Protection to its available policies for Android devices.” In fact, Foeckl also goes on to suggest that android will continue to progress in the field of security as a main avenue in future android updates and recognizing the progress they have made so far “In the coming Android versions, we expect to see more security features to be added to Android directly from Google. The company is working hard to increase its footprint in the high margin enterprise market that has become more and more dominated by Apple’s iOS“. What do you think of android’s latest attempt to offer a more secure operating system? Are you glad about the recently announced Device Protection feature? Let us know your thoughts.