Phones and tablets are a big part of our everyday functions. So, it’s no surprise businesses have incorporated them to carry out their tasks.
In the realm of IT Asset Management (ITAM), Android Device Management emerges to make sure these types of assets are correctly managed and protected across businesses. This includes different activities that go from enforcing security policies to deploying applications and ensuring data protection.
In this blog post, we will further explore this practice’s full scope and see how integrating InvGate Insight and Google Endpoint Management can optimize your Mobile Device Management (MDM) operations.
So, let's dive in and discover the best practices and strategies for effectively managing Android devices in the modern enterprise landscape.
MDM for Android
Google provides you with a specific cloud-based tool to do MDM for Android: Google Endpoint Management. In a nutshell, it enables administrators to have centralized control over Android devices, ensuring security, compliance, and efficient management of company-owned or BYOD devices.
Some of its capabilities include:
- Device configuration - To remotely configure device settings, ensuring consistent and secure device configurations across the organization.
- Security control - To remotely lock or wipe devices in case of loss or theft, enforce encryption on devices, and detect and respond to security threats with real-time alerts and remediation actions.
- Remote device monitoring - To track device inventory, view asset health status, and gather insights into device performance and usage.
4 benefits and challenges of Android Device Management
Managing Android devices within enterprise environments offers several benefits, empowering organizations to enhance productivity, streamline operations, and ensure security.
However, it faces some specific challenges that need to be addressed effectively. Let's explore them in more detail.
Benefits of Android Device Management
- Flexibility and customization - Android's open-source nature provides you with the possibility to tailor the device management process to align with your organization's specific requirements, including app distribution, security policies, and device configurations.
- Enhanced security - Having an open-source system can make you subject to certain vulnerabilities that are particular to this type of software. Managing and monitoring your Android devices will help you ensure they are safe and in compliance.
- System visibility - As it is a part of Mobile Device Management, it provides access to what’s installed on your system, as well as remaining memory, connected networks, and performance.
Challenges of Android Device Management
- Fragmentation and compatibility - This is one of the primary challenges in Android Device Management. With numerous device manufacturers and varying OS versions in the market, ensuring consistent management and compatibility across different devices can be challenging. To overcome this, you can inventory your Android devices within your InvGate Insight instance, and create tags and filters to easily group them by their specific qualities.
- Security risks - As Android is an open-source platform, it can be more vulnerable to security risks compared to closed ecosystems. Thus, you must adopt robust security measures, including secure boot, encryption, and app whitelisting, to mitigate the risks associated with potential vulnerabilities. You should also ensure that security features and patches are updated – and that’s something you can do with InvGate Insight’s Risk Management automation capabilities.
- BYOD and privacy concerns - The popularity of Bring Your Own Device policies introduces additional challenges. Balancing the need for corporate security with employee privacy expectations can be a delicate task. To face this challenge, you must establish clear policies, educate employees on acceptable usage guidelines, and implement measures to protect sensitive data while respecting individual privacy rights. Monitoring your devices with InvGate Insight, and automating alerts for those devices that aren’t in compliance will help you ensure that.
As we just hinted, using Google Endpoint Management as your stand alone IT inventory tool is far from ideal. Yes, you can manage your Android devices with it, but you either overlook the rest of your IT infrastructure or go back and forth between platforms (exposing your team to unintended mistakes).
Let’s see how you can avoid this.
How to manage Android devices with InvGate Insight
You probably know where we’re going with this, but the best alternative to manage your entire IT state – Android and iOS devices included – is to find ITAM software that integrates with MDM tools that let you manage these particular devices.
This way, you can oversee all your inventory (hardware, software, and cloud) from one single platform while being able to perform tasks and pull out complete reports without juggling with multiple sources.
And, of course, InvGate Insight does exactly that. Keep reading to find out how!
InvGate Insight and Google Endpoint Management integration
You can perfectly build and manage your IT asset inventory with InvGate Insight. Thanks to its multiple data sources (Discovery Network, software agent, and CSV files, to name a few) you can populate it in various ways. And by integrating it with Google Endpoint Management particularly, you can add Android devices to the database.
How the integration works
The integration centralizes the management activities related to Android devices on a unified console.
In order to bring together Android Device Management practices with your overall ITAM, InvGate Insight retrieves device information by leveraging the APIs provided by Google Endpoint Management. This data will directly go to your instance, adding the new devices to your asset inventory and enabling you to take advantage of InvGate Insight’s whole package of ITAM capabilities:
InvGate Insight and Google Endpoint Management integration requirements
To integrate InvGate Insight and Google Endpoint Management, you must met the following requirements:
- An active subscription or license for both solutions.
- Access to Google Endpoint Management’s APIs, which may require administrative privileges.
- Proper configuration and setup of the integration within the InvGate Insight platform, including providing the necessary credentials and permissions.
What type of data it collects
When looking at Android devices, this integration centralizes the following data:
- Screen size
- Serial number
- Battery status
Pros and cons of the integration
Integrating InvGate Insight with Google Endpoint Management will bring you some strategic advantages:
- Centralized management - You can manage Android devices alongside other endpoints from a single platform, streamlining device management and reporting.
- Enhance security - You can enforce security policies, remotely lock or wipe devices, and detect and respond to security threats more effectively.
- Improved visibility - It provides comprehensive device information and usage data, enabling better asset tracking, performance monitoring, and resource optimization.
- Better ROI - Centralizing all your ITAM operations in one single platform will improve the Return of Investment of that tool.
However, you must always consider the challenges:
- Dependency on Google Services - The integration relies on the availability and functionality of Google Endpoint Management services, and any limitations or outages on their end may impact the management capabilities.
- Limited to Android services - The integration is specific to managing Android devices and doesn’t provide the same level of control or features for other device platforms within the organization. However, InvGate Insight counts with its own Agent that covers a wider scope and includes other integrations, like Jamf for iOS devices.
To sum up
If your organization works with Android devices, you need to add this operating system to your MDM strategy. Otherwise, you won’t have any visibility of a portion of your infrastructure, causing potential security and compliance issues.
You can do so by using Google Endpoint Management, but remember that it’s not wise to leave the tool isolated. In just a few steps, you can integrate it with InvGate Insight to streamline Device Management processes, collect valuable data for monitoring and analysis, and enable administrators to efficiently manage and secure Android devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Android Device Management?
Android Device Management refers to the process of centrally managing and securing Android devices within an organization, enabling administrators to enforce policies, deploy applications, and protect sensitive data.
How does MDM work in Android?
MDM in Android works by utilizing a Device Policy Controller (DPC) app, which acts as a bridge between the management server and Android devices. The DPC app enables administrators to enforce policies, configure settings, and remotely manage devices.
How do I manage devices on Google Android?
Devices on Google Android can be managed using Google Endpoint Management (formerly Android Device Manager), a cloud-based device management platform that allows administrators to enforce policies, control app installations, and remotely manage Android devices.
How to enable Android Device Manager?
To enable Android Device Manager, go to the device's Settings, then navigate to the Security section. Look for the Device Administrators or Device Management option and enable the Android Device Manager or Google Endpoint Management as a device administrator.
How to manage multiple Android devices?
To manage multiple Android devices, organizations can leverage MDM solutions like Google Endpoint Management or third-party MDM platforms. These solutions enable centralized management, policy enforcement, and remote administration of multiple Android devices.
Does Google have a MDM?
Yes, Google provides a MDM solution called Google Endpoint Management (formerly known as Android Device Manager) that enables organizations to manage and secure Android devices within their environment.
Is Google Endpoint Management free?
Google Endpoint Management offers both free and paid tiers. The free tier provides basic device management capabilities, while additional features and advanced functionality are available through paid licenses.
What is the difference between Endpoint and Intune?
The term "endpoint" refers to a device or node in a network, such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet. On the other hand, "Intune" refers to Microsoft Intune, a cloud-based Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution that allows organizations to manage and secure endpoints across multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. So, the main difference is that "endpoint" is a general term, while "Intune" is a specific product offering from Microsoft.