Android Enterprise security measures to safeguard user privacy

Wayne Thompson

Aug 23, 2023

11 min read

In our rapidly evolving digital world, user privacy is crucial as technology becomes ingrained in daily life.
Amidst online complexities, strong security is vital to protect personal information. This is where Android Enterprise security steps in. It offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to protect user privacy and enhance data security.

Click to explore the Android Enterprise features

Android Enterprise: A brief overview

Android Enterprise, an initiative by Google, serves as a testament to the company’s commitment to user privacy and security. It’s a platform that caters to businesses and organizations, empowering them with advanced tools and capabilities to manage devices and applications seamlessly. By segregating work and personal profiles on a single device, Android Enterprise enhances efficiency while maintaining a strong focus on data protection.

What is Android Enterprise? Everything you need to know

Importance of user privacy in the digital age

We are currently in an era where our smartphones have become extensions of ourselves, we generate a vast amount of personal data every day. Our smartphones safeguard a wealth of data, including sensitive emails, financial information, location data, and personal preferences. The rise of cyberattacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access underscores the urgency of securing this data. Android Enterprise security recognizes the significance of user privacy in the digital age and offers a multi-faceted approach to address these concerns.

User privacy features of Android Enterprise

Android Enterprise stands as a steadfast guardian of user data, offering a comprehensive suite of privacy features that elevate the security of personal information. By placing privacy at the forefront of its offerings, Android Enterprise sets a commendable standard for mobile device security and user data protection.

Robust data encryption

At the heart of Android Enterprise’s commitment to user privacy lies its robust data encryption mechanisms. Data encryption involves the transformation of user data into unreadable code, ensuring that even if unauthorized access occurs, the data remains indecipherable. Android Enterprise employs advanced encryption protocols both at rest and in transit, ensuring that sensitive information, whether it’s personal correspondence, financial data, or confidential documents, remains secure from any potential breaches. This feature is especially critical for users who store a multitude of personal and sensitive information on their smartphones.

Android Enterprise prioritizes data security through two encryption methods: file-based encryption (FBE) and full-disk encryption.

FBE, which was introduced in Android 7, offers a dynamic approach to encryption. It encrypts different storage areas using distinct keys, providing enhanced security. Notably, devices running Android 10 and newer versions require FBE by default, highlighting its significance.

In FBE, the device boots to the lock screen, enabling swift usability upon unlocking. Two types of storage locations are available to apps: Device Encrypted (DE) and Credential Encrypted (CE). DE storage is accessible before the user unlocks the device and is fortified by hardware secrets and software checks, including Verified Boot verification. CE storage becomes accessible only after the user unlocks the device. CE storage keys are derived post-unlocking, making them resilient against brute force attacks, enhancing overall privacy.

Conversely, full-disk encryption, adopted by devices running Android 5.0 to 9.0, encodes all user data using a single encryption key. The encryption algorithm utilized is AES-128, bolstered by cipher-block chaining (CBC) and ESSIV:SHA256. The master key, generated during the first boot, undergoes a multi-step process of hashing and encryption. This intricate process, implemented through trusted execution environments, ensures that the encryption remains robust and resistant to offline password guessing.

Verified Boot process

Verified Boot is an Android Enterprise security feature that ensures the integrity of the device’s operating system and components during the startup process. Checking the digital signatures of each component ensures no tampering or compromise. Additionally, detecting discrepancies prevents device startup, thus guarding against malware or modifications. Also, creating a trusted environment from device turn-on enhances user privacy. Verified Boot prevents unauthorized changes, mitigating malware’s risk to user data access. This feature is instrumental in fortifying user privacy against various forms of cyber threats.

Privacy controls and permissions

Configuring app permissions in Android Enterprise offers a vital layer of protection to user privacy. Apps operate within strict limits by default and require explicit permissions from users, like accessing contacts or SMS messages. Apps targeting API level 23 or higher utilize runtime permissions, prompting users to grant permissions during app usage instead of during installation. This approach streamlines app installation and updates while granting users increased control over app functionality.

For instance, users can selectively provide camera access to a camera app. Moreover, users retain the ability to revoke permissions at any time via the app’s Settings screen. By implementing this runtime permissions model, Android Enterprise enhances user privacy, ensuring users have a more transparent and granular control over their data shared with apps.

Regular security updates

Android Enterprise’s commitment to user privacy extends to the timely deployment of security updates. These updates address newly discovered vulnerabilities, ensuring that devices are fortified against emerging threats. By promptly patching security gaps, Android Enterprise minimizes the window of opportunity for potential cyberattacks.

Regular security updates not only bolster device security but also play a crucial role in maintaining user privacy. As new vulnerabilities are identified, hackers may attempt to exploit them to gain unauthorized access to user data. Android Enterprise’s regular security updates help minimize privacy risks linked to these vulnerabilities.

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Hexnode Android Enterprise Management Solution

Learn about Hexnode’s Android Enterprise Management solution that lets you manage every Android device in an enterprise with maximum ease of use and flexibility.

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Android Enterprise security for company data privacy

While securing company data is crucial, Android Enterprise recognizes the importance of maintaining user privacy. Android Enterprise equips businesses with powerful tools to secure company data effectively. One of its standout features is the creation of separate work and personal profiles on a single device, ensuring that sensitive company information remains isolated from personal data. Moreover, with Managed Google Play, businesses can deploy apps within the work profile, ensuring that the software landscape is controlled and secure.

How containerization works?

By creating isolated, secure spaces known as containers within mobile devices, this feature ensures a clear separation between work and personal realms. Work-related apps, data, and activities are confined within these containers, safeguarding them from personal apps and activities. This isolation significantly reduces the risk of data leakage, unauthorized access, and breaches. Businesses can enforce stringent security policies on the container, including encryption, remote wipe capabilities, and controlled access.

Notably, containerization respects employee privacy by allowing personal apps and data outside the container to function independently, fostering a sense of privacy and personal freedom. With various implementation approaches like the work profile and fully managed device, containerization transforms enterprise mobility by enabling a seamless and secure ecosystem for managing business operations on personal devices. Ideal for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios, the work profile creates a separate space for work-related apps and data. This container is managed by the enterprise, ensuring security without intruding into personal apps.

Enrolling organization in Android Enterprise using Hexnode UEM

Hexnode’s approach to privacy is two-fold: protecting sensitive user data while maintaining transparency. By leveraging Android Enterprise’s privacy-enhancing features, Hexnode empowers users with control over app permissions, ensuring their personal data remains confidential. These include remote management, app deployment, security policies enforcement, and comprehensive monitoring. Through a centralized console, administrators can manage devices across different platforms seamlessly, ensuring consistent security and management protocols.

How to enroll organization in Android Enterprise?

To enroll your organization in the Android Enterprise program, follow these steps:

  • Access your Hexnode MDM portal and navigate to Enroll > Platform – Specific > Android > Android Enterprise.
  • Choose the enrollment method using either Managed Domain or Google Domain, and proceed by clicking Enroll.
  • If you opt for Managed Domain, sign in using your Google account credentials and click Get Started.
  • Enter your organization’s name and review the managed Google Play agreement linked on the page.
  • Upon agreement acceptance, tick the ‘I have read and agree to managed Google Play agreement‘ box and click Confirm.
  • After confirming, click the Complete Registration button. Your organization’s enrollment will be processed, and you’ll be redirected to the Hexnode MDM portal.

Enrolling devices in Android Enterprise as Profile Owner or Device Owner

Android Enterprise presents two separate modes for device management: Profile Owner and Device Owner. In Profile Owner mode, the work profile is managed, ensuring that company data is compartmentalized and secure while personal data remains untouched. This mode is ideal for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios, striking a harmonious balance between work and personal usage.

On the other hand, Device Owner mode provides comprehensive control over the entire device. This mode is well-suited for company-owned devices where complete control and security of both work and personal data are required. While Device Owner mode provides heightened security, it’s crucial to strike a balance that respects employee privacy.

Device Owner enrollment:

  • Establish the Hexnode For Work App as Device Owner. This step ensures that only work-approved apps are accessible, removing personal apps.
  • For existing devices, initiate enrollment by resetting them to factory settings, ensuring removal of all associated accounts.
  • For new devices, begin enrollment from the device’s Welcome screen.

Profile Owner enrollment:

  • Designate the Hexnode for Work App as a Profile Owner.
  • Unlike Device Owner mode, resetting the device to factory settings isn’t necessary.
  • Profile Owner mode creates a dedicated work container, preventing mixing of personal and corporate data.

What is Android Enterprise Recommended?

The Android Enterprise Recommended Program is a prestigious initiative by Google aimed at elevating the standards of enterprise device management. Designed to assist organizations in selecting suitable devices and services for their mobility needs, this program sets stringent criteria for hardware and software, ensuring compatibility, security, and performance. Devices certified under this program provide businesses with a seal of quality, guaranteeing a superior Android experience for their workforce.

Hexnode and Android Enterprise Recommended

Hexnode stands as a reliable partner in the Android Enterprise Recommended Program, exemplifying its commitment to providing top-notch device management solutions. Furthermore, Hexnode prioritizes security, privacy, and performance by following the program’s guidelines, providing a seamless experience on certified devices.

Hexnode aligns with numerous Android Enterprise Recommended (AER) specifications, which encompass:

  • Transferring setup details conveniently via QR codes.
  • Streamlining device configuration through advanced zero-touch enrollment.
  • Implementing lock screen restrictions to further improve security.
  • Enforcing sophisticated passcode restrictions for enhanced device protection.
  • Ensuring comprehensive data security with the capability to remotely wipe and lock work-related data.
  • Seamlessly distributing work applications in a non-disruptive manner.

Google’s commitment to privacy

Google’s commitment to privacy is evident through its continuous efforts to create a safe digital environment for users. From stringent security protocols to transparent privacy practices, Google strives to empower users with control over their personal data while providing innovative services.

Transparent privacy policies and practices

Google’s commitment is further demonstrated through its transparent privacy policies and practices. Google ensures that users understand how their data is collected, used, and safeguarded. By offering comprehensive information about data practices, Google empowers users to make informed choices about their digital interactions and privacy settings.

Renewed personal usage experience on COPE and BYO Devices

The concept of Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has gained prominence in the modern workplace, granting employees the freedom to use personal devices for work-related tasks. Google’s commitment to privacy extends to this scenario as well. By introducing Android Enterprise, Google guarantees that users with COPE (Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled) and BYO devices enjoy enhanced personal usage experiences. Furthermore, Google empowers users with secure personal device use via profile segregation, encryption, and app permissions. Thus, their strategy maintains productivity and privacy equilibrium in dynamic modern workplaces.


To wrap up, Android Enterprise embodies a new era of privacy-centric device management. By integrating stringent security protocols, transparent practices, and innovative approaches, Android Enterprise creates an environment where privacy is given utmost priority. Furthermore, using Hexnode for enrolling devices in Android Enterprise raises user privacy to new heights, aligning perfectly with the rigorous standards. This symbiotic approach ensures a secure and innovative ecosystem, emphasizing the security of user information amidst the constant evolution in digital landscape.

Wayne Thompson

Product Evangelist @ Hexnode. Busy doing what looks like fun to me and work to others.

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