Planning and protecting your charity from a crisis

Cyber securityweb

Advertising feature

Cyber security was voted as the number one risk facing charities by members of the Institute of Risk Management in 2018. No matter the type of crisis, John Cleghorn, charity account executive at commercial insurance broker and risk management specialist Gallagher, explains that planning and insurance cover are the most effective ways to protect your charity. 

TFN Guest's photo

30th May 2018 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

You don’t have to be in a major city or unstable part of the world to face a range of threats to your organisation. A major crisis could hit your organisation hard – your income and profitability, your reputation, and your ability to recruit and retain good people could all be at risk.

If an unexpected incident or event unfolds, and no plans or strategies are in place – or are not extensive enough or well-tested – this can lead to panic. Panic then tends to turn into poor decision-making when individuals are forced to make choices quickly to limit the potential damage to their organisation. 

That’s why you must anticipate and plan for such threats, and have strong crisis management policies and procedures to put into immediate effect. 

John Cleghorn

John Cleghorn

One of the main crisis risks which remains a consistent focus for charities is cyber. In the 2018 Institute of Risk Management’s Charities Special Interest Group Top Risks Survey, when asked “What risks will still be with you in 2021?” cyber was voted the number one risk by respondents.

So, how can you protect your charity?

Whilst strengthened security procedures, good digital housekeeping and high user awareness can reduce the likelihood of your business suffering a cyber-attack, it does not guarantee that you will not be hit, or mitigate the damaging effects of a breach.

A tailored cyber insurance policy can help protect your charity against the multiple impacts of a cyber-attack. This includes data loss, which may not be covered by standard property insurance policies. A cyber policy can include data restoration, no matter how the loss occurred. It can also cover liabilities, including the legal defence costs and potential damages resulting from data breach, should an organisation be fined for loss of data or sued by consumers seeking legal redress. And let’s not forget the costs associated with having to hire advisers, should an incident go viral that could damage your reputation without proactive management. 

All organisations rely on operating systems to manage their business. In the event of your charity suffering unplanned downtime as a result of a cybercrime, such as a hacker taking down your website, leading to a loss in sales or donations, a traditional business interruption policy may not respond. Cyber insurance can provide you with cover for loss of profits associated with a systems outage caused by such attacks.

Cyber-attacks can happen to organisations of any size, so ensuring you have the right procedures in place to manage the crisis, as well as the correct protection, is the first step towards safeguarding the future of your charity.

John Cleghorn is charity account executive at commercial insurance broker and risk management specialist Gallagher. For more information contact Gallagher on 0800 6123758, email or visit