Android 11 security features and improvements you need to know


If the Android 11 beta is a sign, Jack Wallen predicts it’s going to be probably the most protected and very best appearing unencumber. Developers and professional customers, examine security and privateness features in Android 11.


Image: Jack Wallen

It’s been a curler coaster experience for Android security over time. From permissions problems to malware/ransomware to compromised ROMS, you title it, and it is came about. The builders have performed a quite outstanding task of retaining on most sensible of the problems as they spring up, which is not any simple feat. With each and every unencumber of the platform, they take important steps to fortify the security of the cell working device.

The upcoming unencumber of Android 11 is not any exception. The builders have added new features and handled a couple of pre-existing privateness and security problems. Let’s check out one of the most bolder alternatives they have got made with the platform.

SEE: Top Android security tips (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Temporary and one-time app permissions

App permissions has been a sticky bit for security inside the Android OS. Even although Android has noticed huge improvements over this factor prior to now few releases, there is at all times room for development, which is strictly what the builders have performed.

With Android 11, customers shall be in a position to grant positive permissions on an Only This Time, case-by-case foundation. This possibility will seem when an app asks for permission to get entry to: 

If a person grants the one-time permission, the app could have get entry to to the characteristic till the app is closed. When the app is re-opened, the person could have to grant get entry to once more. This characteristic is the same to that present in iOS 13 and must move far to shore up a straggling lack of confidence that is been round for a while.

Blocked permissions

Android 11 introduces a brand new characteristic that may block an app from inquiring for permissions if a person denies permissions two times. After denying an app permission two times, customers could have to manually give the app permissions if they would like the app to serve as correctly.

Overlay permissions

Did somebody say “permissions?”

One very critical worry at the Android platform is overlay assaults. An overlay assault has been fashionable on Android and has one purpose: Intercept credentials for having access to a goal software. Overlays faux standard on-line products and services to trick the person into typing their login credentials for a web page.

With Android 11, apps can’t instantly take customers to the authentication display screen. Instead, apps can simplest ship customers to the extent ahead of granting get entry to to the overlay. Because of this, customers could have to then allow the choice. Once you’ve enabled the app permission to the overlay, it will be conceivable for the app to then draw over the display screen. That one further step would possibly save you customers from randomly giving malware permission to get entry to their information.

Goodbye background location get entry to

With Android 11, apps will now not be allowed to collect knowledge within the background. The simplest time an app shall be in a position to accumulate knowledge is when it is operating. This will lend a hand shore up privateness problems by means of putting the person in regulate of when an app can collect information. 

Developers have till August to ensure that their apps meet this new requirement. By November, if any app does not meet this requirement, it’s going to be mechanically got rid of from the Google Play Store.

Revoking unused app permissions

One ultimate alternate to the permissions device. If you have an app that you’ve granted permissions for, and you do not use that app for a couple of months (no person turns out to know what number of months is “a few”), the permissions shall be revoked and can simplest be re-enabled manually.

As of the most recent beta unencumber, this selection is disabled by means of default and works on an app-by-app foundation (Figure A). It is unknown if Google plans on enabling the characteristic out of the field. 

Figure A


Permission revoking in Android 11, beta 1.

Scoped Storage returns

Back in Android Q beta 2, the builders introduced Scoped Storage, which added a brand new algorithm relating to how apps are allowed to get entry to garage. This led to rather the stir, inflicting the devs to come to a decision to put it on grasp for a 12 months so app builders may take motion to ensure that their tool would paintings with the characteristic. That time has come, and Scoped Storage is after all set to be added to the platform.

What is Scoped Storage? Scoped Storage creates remoted sandboxes for apps, so it now not calls for further permissions to write information. The largest draw to Scoped Storage is that an app will be unable to get entry to some other app’s sandbox directly–this must upload a substantial stage of security to the platform.

The caveats to Scoped Storage are that it could motive a slight hit to Android efficiency, and some legacy apps will fail to serve as correctly. But, the won privateness and security must make the ones caveats greater than applicable.

Additional security adjustments in Android 11 

  • Improvements to the BiometricPrompt API

  • Mobile Driver’s License make stronger

  • Secure Storage to make it more straightforward for apps to percentage information blobs

  • Expanded use of sanitizers to a number of security-centric elements

  • Improved Call Screening

  • Introduction of the GnssAntennaInfo magnificence for advanced GPS privateness

  • Secure audio seize from USB instrument

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