Remote Work Cybersecurity Challenges

Learn more about remote work cybersecurity challenges and what you can do to protect your small business.

Cybersecurity Challenges of Remote Work Key Takeaways

  • Hackers are preying on security weaknesses brought on by more employees working remotely.

  • Criminals are slipping into systems undetected by exploiting security gaps like weak user credentials and out-of-date technologies.

  • Knowing the biggest security gaps helps you figure out how to fix them with technology that stays ahead of threats.

  • Intel vPro® Essentials gives you innovative, hardware-based security that helps protect against leading security threats.



As more employees enjoy remote work, hackers can seize the opportunity to exploit weaknesses and slip into systems undetected. Understanding the security risks of remote work can help you block the paths that criminals are most likely to take to steal your data and create havoc.

Increased Security Risks of Remote Work

During the pandemic, you rushed to enable employees to work remotely. And hackers? They rushed to find the vulnerabilities created by remote work so they could more efficiently break into your systems.

Not having the right security in place may leave many open to threats, with only 7.5% of companies surveyed reporting they feel prepared to protect against remote-work attacks like phishing and ransomware.3

The good news is that once you know more about cybersecurity and the types of attacks launched against remote workers, you can create a stronger defense that helps close security gaps.

Securing the Remote Workforce

Keeping your business safer from attacks requires you to get into the minds of hackers. You need to know what they’re looking for in a weak target, so you can make sure that target isn’t you.

A cybercriminal might steal user credentials and break into your system, lying in wait and stealing valuable data. Or the criminal might steal your data and launch a ransomware attack. The key to stopping these types of attacks is knowing where they want to access your system. Once you know this, you can close entry points – helping to stop criminals before they get started.

Mobile Device Management Tips

Every time a criminal knocks at your virtual door, you want to keep that door securely locked. Mobile device management is a tool that helps give you more control over the devices that connect to your network and makes sure those connections are more secure. Here are a few tips about mobile device management.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Stealing login credentials is a tactic that criminals love to use to access your sensitive data. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) helps lock this point of entry down. It works by asking your employee for something they know (knowledge), something they have (possession) and something they are (inherence).

An employee might, for example, type in a username and password (knowledge), verify a code sent to their cell phone (possession), and confirm their identity with a fingerprint (inherence). Together, these three factors help make sure the person logging in to your system isn’t a fraudster.

Remote Management and Access

Part of keeping cybercriminals out of your systems is staying current with software updates, patch management, device refreshing, and more. Doing this with on-the-go employees can seem daunting, but not if you’re using the right technology.

Business-class devices with the Intel vPro® platform help you manage multiple devices, whether your employees are working on the go or in the office.

Securing the Home Wi-Fi Network

When an employee is working from the office, you have total control over the Wi-Fi network. But working from home? Not so much. Securing the home Wi-Fi network is an important way to help keep remote workers safe.

Employees can take simple steps like making sure their firmware and antivirus software are updated and creating a stronger Wi-Fi password. But you can also require that all web traffic go through a trusted virtual private network (VPN) to help reduce the risk of attacks.

Utilizing Secure Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Using a VPN is one of the ways that you can help reduce the risk of attacks. But it also creates a “back door” that hackers can slip into if that VPN isn’t well protected.

Use the strongest authentication method possible for your VPN. And remind your employees to use the VPN when they’re connected to Wi-Fi at home or in public, even when they use their work device for personal use, such as checking social networks or responding to a personal email.

Least Privilege Access

Want to know an easy way to keep criminals away from your sensitive data? Only give employees the exact amount of access they need to do their jobs.

This concept, “least privilege access,” is focused on giving employees “right-sized” access, so that if hackers do break into your systems using stolen credentials, your exposure is far smaller. Of course, you want to use this strategy along with other security measures, like MFA, but when you use them together, your company data can be safer.

Ensure Devices Are Up to Date

Hackers love out-of-date devices. Why? Because out-of-date software is more known to them, which makes it easier for them to sneak into your systems, steal data, or lie in wait while they monitor your communications to gather information they can use against you later.

Any device connected to your network should be current with security patches and updates. An easy way to do this is with remote monitoring and management solutions.

Train Employees on Cybersecurity Hygiene

Your employees are your first line of defense to help keep unauthorized users out of your network. One of the best ways to help protect your company is to educate your employees. They need to know what a security risk looks like, how to spot one, and what they can do personally to keep criminals from hacking into your systems.

Some companies even test employees with fake phishing scams to make sure they don’t accidentally take the bait by clicking on an email or opening an attachment.

Aim for Zero Trust

Criminals are constantly creating new threats to get access to your business systems. A way that small businesses help to keep them out is by adopting a “zero trust” model.

Zero trust is a framework that requires all people, whether inside or outside your company, to be validated before getting access to your applications and data. It’s the idea that you can’t trust anyone, so every single user must authenticate their identity and prove they are not a malicious actor.

One of the ways that companies are using zero trust is through adopting safeguards like MFA at the point of entry to make sure that unauthorized users don’t enter their systems undetected.

Engage Business-Level PC Security

While the pandemic sped up the move to remote work, it also brought more security threats to your doorstep. That’s why you need top-notch security.

The Intel vPro® platform gives you innovative, hardware-based security that helps protect against leading security threats.

No IT support? Look into Intel vPro® Essentials. It delivers out-of-the-box hardware-based security and includes Intel® Hardware Shield, which protects against attacks below the operating system. And if you need even more security and manageability, Intel vPro® Enterprise is built to enhance security in larger business fleets.

Intel’s dedication to security assurance helps customers tackle today’s toughest challenges with innovative technologies that defend against cyberattacks, detect unlikely threats, and help recover from data breaches. Download the 2021 Intel Product Security Report to see how our security-centric approach impacts everything we do at Intel.


Frequently Asked Questions

Cybersecurity is critical for the protection of your computer systems, networks, mobile devices, servers, and information. Criminals want to gain access to systems, gather information, and steal data. With improved safeguards, your business can be better equipped to face potential risks such as downtime, hardware damage, reputational damage, and financial challenges.

Out-of-band management (OOBM) gives IT administrators more flexibility for how they manage their fleets of PCs and devices.

Endpoint security includes the strategies and technology solutions that help secure endpoint devices from digital threats and unauthorized access. Ultimately, the goal of endpoint management is to help protect devices, users, and businesses from lost productivity, cost, and reputation.

Product and Performance Information


All versions of the Intel vPro® platform require an eligible Intel processor, a supported operating system, Intel® LAN and/or WLAN silicon, firmware enhancements, and other hardware and software necessary to deliver the manageability use cases, security features, system performance, and stability that define the platform. See for details.

2Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy.