A sneak peek at security features in the upcoming Android L release

Real Solutions

To increase security within the Android ecosystem, Google will need more than a few components from Knox. What Google is likely to do, looking forward, is keep a tighter rein on manufacturers of Android mobile phones – or just ignore them completely.

Version 5.0 of Play Store, which rolled out in June, comes with a feature that enables delivery of security patches (Dynamic Security Provider; Figure 5). Google obviously understands the need to prevent Android sprawl to solve the long-term problems, and they will undoubtedly take further steps to make themselves and their system more independent of smartphone manufacturers, which could mean even more restrictions on Android smartphones. The only certainty is that much more needs to happen. At the end of the day, Android L looks unlikely to trigger a massive security paradigm shift.

Figure 5: Perhaps Google has finally understood that it can only fix the fundamental security problem with central patches and updates in the long term, a common approach in the Linux world.

The Author

Martin Gerhard Loschwitz works as a Cloud Architect with Sys Eleven, where he focuses on OpenStack, distributed storage, and Puppet. In his spare time he maintains Pacemaker for Debian.

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