G Suite to Enabled Basic Mobile Management by Default This Year

Google has announced that by the end of 2018, the basic mobile management feature on G Suite domains will be enabled by default.  The announcement comes as part of a series of announcement the company has made regarding data and device security.

When the change is enabled, it will require that all users of Android and iOS phones associated with a G Suite domain to have, at a minimum, a password or PIN to unlock their phones.  Without it, users will not be able to access G Suite associated apps and thus, the data associated with those apps.

Today, basic mobile management is an optional setting on domains and is the first of three levels of device security offered.  If a domain already has a level of mobile management enabled, this will have no impact on them as they already meet the criteria.  If domains do not have it enabled, Google encourages Admins to enable the feature and, at least at the beginning to get users use to it, not enforce the password policy.  By the end of the year however, it will be required.

There are a few caveats that Google points out on this change:

  • This launch applies even if your organization uses a third-party Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) provider. It won’t impact the way your EMM works in any way.
  • Mobile devices syncing via Google Sync won’t be impacted by this change and won’t have a passcode or screen lock enforced.
  • Users who sync their mail via IMAP and who don’t use native G Suite apps (e.g. Gmail) won’t be impacted by this change, and their devices won’t have a passcode or screen lock enforced.

Ultimately the goal is to make your organization’s data more secure and enabling this mobile management feature will go as part of that effort.