Google brings enterprise-grade Android security to SMBs

Android Enterprise Essentials offers mobile device management capabilities for businesses of all sizes

Google has launched a new suite of mobile device management (MDM) tools for Android-based devices aimed at extending enterprise-grade mobile security to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Called Android Enterprise Essentials, Google claims the suite of tools will offer the same security features larger enterprises have to businesses of all sizes. The features are enabled by default on compatible handsets.

Among the core features of the suite include a requirement for a lock screen and encryption on devices to prevent unauthorised access to company data; mandatory malware protection by ensuring Google Play Protect is always on and that employees can’t download apps outside of the Google Play Store; and providing the ability to wipe all company data from a device in case it’s lost or stolen.

In creating the suite, Google said it wanted to focus on “critical set of default features designed for businesses with simpler needs and smaller budgets”. It added that SMBs are “increasingly the target of malicious attackers and may be required by local laws to protect company data.” 

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“And with more business and customer data residing on mobile devices, one lost or stolen phone can create a major incident that can have a large and lasting impact on your business,” the company added.

Google is also aiming the suite at larger organisations that may not have yet deployed MDM services.

"Businesses are increasingly telling us their top considerations for investment are security and increased user productivity," said Mark Bowker, senior analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group.

"During ESG’s validation of Android Enterprise Essentials, it became quickly evident that the simple management capabilities and seamless employee experience provide confidence in security for businesses and a safer work environment for employees.”

Android Enterprise Essentials is rolling out in the US and UK initially via third-party distributors before expanding worldwide “early next year.”

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