For those most at risk who feel they need the strongest security possible, Google's Advanced Protection program offers the most up-to-date safeguards possible on any Android device. Today, a couple of new features are being announced to further protect users from malware attacks and keep personal information secure.
Play Protect is Android's built-in malware protection, but it's not switched on by default for all users and can be disabled in settings. If your device is registered with Advanced Protection, Play Protect will now be turned on automatically and will be required to remain on. Since it scans 100 billion apps each day and uses machine learning to verify their safety, it's a no-brainer that this should be a feature of Advanced Protection.
The other big new change is that the installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store will now be severely limited on Advanced Protection devices. There are exceptions to this, however, such as app stores pre-installed by manufacturers that are deemed safe sources and anything installed via adb (Android Debug Bridge). It's also worth pointing out that apps you may have already installed won't be retrospectively assessed and removed.
For the time being, G Suite users won't be subject to these changes, but Google points out that equivalent protections are already in place thanks to Endpoint Management. For all other users enrolled in the Advanced Protection Program, these changes will roll out starting today. Google will also be bringing new malware protection features to Chrome later this year. More information can be found on the Advanced Protection site.