Google is launching a new, simplified version of its Enterprise security program for smaller businesses, called Enterprise Essentials. Rather than drown smaller firms with the multitude of Android Enterprise tools, the new Enterprise Essentials pares things down to a handful of simple critical features, like mandatory lockscreen and encryption requirements, Play Protect malware protection, and remote wiping.

If you're unfamiliar, these Android Enterprise programs exist to help secure phones as more and more of our work goes mobile. You might not think that phone security is as important as your work computer, but many of us store plenty of customer data and documents on our phones without realizing it. The phones in our pockets deserve just as much protection as any other device — if not more, since we carry them around everywhere and they're easier to lose.

A full list of feature differences between Android Enterprise and Android Enterprise Essentials wasn't provided, but Google implies the new suite has many of the same basic features, cut down with a mind towards ease of management and a tighter budget. That makes it easier for small businesses to dip their toes into enterprise-level device security without all the overhead, training, oversight, and (most importantly) costs that the full program might require. And, of course, even big companies can switch to the Essentials program and save a bit of cash if they don't need extra management tools.

The Android Enterprise program doesn't just impose security protocols for remote management, it also picks out certain phones that meet basic security standards. Last month, it added a handful of recent Samsung devices, and several so-called Enterprise Mobility Management providers (a long phrase for companies that handle enterprise-level mobile deployments) are also on board.

The initial Enterprise Essential rollout will happen through Synnex in the US and Tech Data in the UK, though other resellers will also pick it up across the world "early next year." Interested businesses can register for a webinar on the subject or check out the new Essentials site for an overview.