System lockout and encryption problems in mobile devices

Some of the common issues occurring in mobile devices are the ones related to system lockout and encryption. This article will help you to understand what can be done in such cases.

Addressing system lockout

This is one of the common scenarios most often faced when there are too many sequential attempts have been made to log in and failed. In this case, the device will lock itself for some time to protect your device and privacy from the malignant force.

There are mobile devices that come in with heavy security to keep anyone away from unlocking your phone if you leave the phone unattended for a while. Still note that most of this security is heavy enough to keep it locked if the phone is stolen, or found somewhere. They can open it up in a few trials with some combination.

There are lockout methods that some mobile devices have where if such sequential login attempt fails, the user needs to input full credentials to unlock the phone which you used for registering to this device. In some cases, they can even wipe out your entire data if detect threats. Such heavy lookout options can be configured on the device, or through a central management system like mobile device management (MDM) software.

In case your company regulates such a method, make sure to advise the users to beware of not making sequential login attempts, to keep their device away from toddlers, and miscreants, as well as to accidentally touch the screen.

Devices owned by the company, must securely store PINs and regularly maintain the backups of all the mobile devices as well as advise the users to back up their data. At any time, the device is centrally controlled through software like MDM, the organization possesses the power to remotely unlock the device.

If it is not centrally controlled, the user may need to plug the device into a computer and use the application provided by the manufacturer to access the device with a passcode. After all of these trials, if the user can not unlock the phone in the end, the only step is to restore the device from a backup or perform a hard reset/ factory reset.

Encryption Problems

The number of ways you can encrypt an e-mail message is beyond the discussion of this surface-level topic, but we will touch on the scenario where the device is unable to decrypt the e-mail encryption. E-mail messages need to be encrypted so that they don’t become exposed to any interceptor like hackers and so on. For this reason, all e-mail messages have some sort of encryption, which ranges from Secure/ Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/ MIME) or Pretty Good Privacy (PGP).

As for the recipient, the person needs to have software, known as typically an e-mail client, that is able to decrypt the encryption, and present the message in a readable way. To make sure that both parties, meaning the sender and the recipient, need have a key that enables encryption and decryption. This key is basically a string of bits that is used for encryption and decryption.

Now as for the mobile device, generally, there are a few reasons why the device would fail to decrypt the message. The simplest one is the e-mail client the user is using, which may not support the encryption method used on the message from the sender. This is rare now since all modern e-mail applications use common encryption methods.

Anyway, if you come across to address any situation like that, you may need to either use a plug-in or an entirely new application. If the e-mail client supports the encryption method, you may need to configure the application to use it. Eventually, the application/ e-mail client needs access to the keys to decrypt the message. Some standards may require the keys to be exchanged manually. In most other cases, keys are exchanged automatically.