Android Nougat: Google OS' Tightest Security Yet
This article is exclusively written for TeskaLabs by J’s Tech Journal
Officially released a month ago, the latest Google mobile OS version has made a few major adjustments, particularly in its security features. The search giant has improved the security in the Android Nougat (or also known as Android N) from strengthening the Android itself to some tools that helps developers to keep things as it is while users install apps.
Adrian Ludwig, head of the Android security team, highlighted three key security features on the 7th OS version – file-based encryption, automatic updates, and Mediaserver hardening.
"We're constantly making improvements to how we identify and protect users from potentially harmful apps," Ludwig said in an interview. 
Meanwhile, its biggest competitor, Apple, has also made a few notable security and privacy adjustments on its new iOS 10.  Some of the latest security updates on iOS include encryption of the device, enabled Find My iPhone, applied two-factor authentication, limited lockscreen data leakage. The latest mobile OS was pre-built on the company’s new flagship.  In a featured post by O2, it mentioned that iOS 10 is the reason “why there’s nothing else like an iPhone.”
While Apple focuses on common user security, Google works on improving their market share in enterprises by offering security features relevant to businesses.
“Google is hoping that its next version, Android N, will finally make network administrators as comfortable with Android devices as those of its rivals,” Cobb said.
What are the important security updates on the latest Google mobile OS? Read on below.
Automatic and seamless updates
The success of the “seamless updates” on the Chrome OS has meant Google has made the feature available on the new Android.  It uses two separate system partitions, which makes updating your phone faster and automatic. The first one works as you use your phone daily, while the other one only works when there’s an available system update. This process allows users to use the device while an update runs in the background. The updated version will be automatically applied upon reboot.
Media Server Hardening
To fix the never ending issue on the media server library, Google worked hard to fix the bug and secure the system. So, on the Android N, the company ensured that it got a big overhaul. They have broken up the media server into smaller parts, so it can be updated separately from the full system update. Instead of having to wait six months or more for an update, your phone will automatically receive new patches whenever there’s an available one. This major update makes hacking an Android device even harder that it used to be.
Previously, Google applied the block-level encryption, which is a secure method as only those who had the right password or PIN could access the storage device. But with the Android N, Google has now applied file-level encryption. It offers two benefits to users. First, it works smoothly on low-end devices, even those with 50 MB/s or lower read and write flash storage hardware. Second, it uses the AEAD (Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data) that strengthens the data security for any unauthorized access of anyone, including apps.
These are the crucial security features on the Android N. Finally, we can see more than just flashy emojis and color scheme updates on a mobile OS. These security enhancements will definitely help protect user data and make the user experience seamless.
Jl has been a fan of Android devices since G1 appeared in 2008. Now, she follows all the latest development on Google's mobile OS, and has been interviewed several times to impart her knowledge regarding latest system updates. She is now actively working on her launching her own Android-focused blog.
If you'd like to get a true assessment of the architecture and security of your mobile application, please request a FREE Demo. Or, to learn more about TeskaLabs’ SeaCat Mobile Secure Gateway and how we can help you with the security of your mobility solutions, please visit www.teskalabs.com/products/seacat-mobile-secure-gateway.
Most Recent Articles
- TeskaLabs helps LINET with cyber security compliance for medical devices
- TeskaLabs and University hospital in Pilsen launches a pilot of zScanner - open source mobile app for medical photo documentation
- EV Charging Station security demonstrator
- Five Ways AI And Machine Learning Can Enhance Cybersecurity Strategy
- C-ITS ITS-S Security microservice
You Might Be Interested in Reading These Articles
Security Researcher Filip Chytry: Online Security Is an Unattractive Topic - until People Get Hacked
I studied at Applied Cybernetics school and worked on various fields: robotics, networks and programming. There I got curious about security and became increasingly passionate about the industry, trying to learn more about cyber crime and attempting to hack into my classmates‘ computers for fun.
Published on August 20, 2015
What do Chrysler Jeeps, GM cars, and Tesla Model S have in common? They are now becoming giant smartphones traveling on a highway. They all have serious security vulnerabilities and can be hacked!
Published on August 04, 2015
With the rise of online businesses, so does the hacking community. Many talented people with barbarous intentions from across the world develops systems with one intention in mind, to harm and attack websites and ruin the day for most entrepreneurs.
Published on October 15, 2019