Cybersecurity on a budget: Church Mutual® offers tips for nonprofits, schools, camps and houses of worship

Apr 27, 2023

3 min

As cyberattacks rise exponentially, many organizations with tight budgets are at risk


MERRILL, Wis. – In the cybersecurity realm, most large corporations are making significant technology investments to stay ahead of resourceful cybercriminals. The financial impact of cybercrime is predicted to hit $8 trillion in 2023 and will grow to $10.5 trillion by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. As cyberattacks continue to rise, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.1, an insurer of nonprofits, schools, camps and houses of worship, says it’s critical for all organizations – even those with tight budgets – to protect themselves.


“From our work with a range nonprofits, schools, camps and houses of worship, we know no one is immune to cyberattack – and smaller organizations with limited resources and tight budgets might be at greater risk,” said Nick Vaernhoej, Church Mutual’s chief information security officer. “Despite these challenges, it is possible to up your cybersecurity game efficiently and effectively with little cost.”


Five Tips for Cybersecurity on a Budget

1. Inventory what you have (devices, software, people): You can’t secure what you aren’t aware of.

2. Keep up on security patching: Ensuring devices are being habitually kept up to date is essential to managing risk.

3. Use an email filtering solution and dial up the sensitivity: The cost of mistakenly blocking a business relevant email pales in comparison to the cost of someone in your organization being successfully phished.

4. As a smaller organization, now is the best time to configure access around the purpose and needs of people/processes: If your organization grows, the complexity of reining in overly broad permissions increases exponentially. Providing access to only what is required is core to the “Zero Trust” security model.

5. Having a few layers of complimentary security controls is significantly more effective than relying on any single control: Pairing a content filtering firewall with antivirus software is a simple mix of foundational tools that will stop the vast majority of problems before they can cause any damage.


Said Vaernhoej, “When it comes to IT security, prevention is a far easier task than dealing with the wide-ranging impact and potential financial fallout of a cyberattack. We urge all nonprofits, schools, camps and houses of worship to look at their policies and procedures now to protect themselves and their communities.”


In addition to the five tips above, Church Mutual offers further information, assessments and cybersecurity coverage partnerships on its website.


About Church Mutual
Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., founded in 1897, offers specialized insurance for religious organizations of all denominations, public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities, senior living facilities, secular and non-secular camps and conference centers, and nonprofit and human services organizations throughout the United States. Church Mutual markets most lines of commercial property and liability insurance, including multi-peril, workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance. In addition to insurance, Church Mutual provides a spectrum of value-added solutions that benefit its customers. Church Mutual holds the following honors:

• A.M. Best Company "A" (excellent) rating.
• Wisconsin 75 Top Private Company by Deloitte US, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
• Wisconsin 75 Distinguished Performer: Innovation by Deloitte US 2019.
• 2021 Gallup Culture Transformation Award recipient.
• 2022 Social Equity and Community Empowerment Property and Casualty Company Award recipient from the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.
• 2020 Women and Diversity Award recipient from the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.
• Elite 50 Internship Award recipient from Rising Insurance Star Executives.
• Futuremakers Partner by Wisconsin Technical College System.
• Celent Model Insurer for innovation and emerging technologies.
• Award in Innovation for entrepreneurialism and innovation by National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
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1Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.


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