You just clicked on the link in an email from your cousin. Or, at least you thought it came from your cousin. In the instant you realize your cousin would not refer to you as “Dear Mr. Jeff,” panic sets in—too late. Your screen is displaying a message to remit a payment of bitcoins, your hard drive has kicked into high gear as the malware encrypts all your data, and you are praying it doesn’t spread to the company network.
It’s become increasingly common to see headlines of cyberattacks like this scenario. Sometimes it’s a ransomware attack on a hospital, holding patient data hostage. Other times, it’s an email phishing scandal where a single employee took down their entire organization with one wrong click. Not matter the scenario, these incidents often put sensitive information at risk.