Lurie hospital could take weeks to recover from cyberattack, cybersecurity experts say

Sarah Schulte Image
Thursday, February 8, 2024
Lurie cyberattack recovery could take weeks. experts say
Lurie cyberattack recovery could take weeks. experts say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Wednesday marked one week since Lurie Children's Hospital began functioning without phones, email and electronic records due to a cyberattack.

Cybersecurity experts said depending on the size and complexity of the network, it can take several weeks to recover from a cyberattack.

"It can depend on the plan that the organization already has in place to be able to address an incident, like whether they have back up," Cybersecurity expert and CEO of Network Perception Robin Berthier said.

The outage Lurie Children's is experiencing can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour, according to Berthier. Internal and external cyberexperts are working with the FBI to find the source.

"They are looking at security at the work station level, mobile services, PCs, Macs. And they are also looking at the system level, who has access to the server," Cybersecurity expert and CMIT Solutions president Jeremy Treister said.

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Because there are many different levels of digital exposure in Lurie, hospitals can expect to be attacked again, and must do a better job of protecting themselves, experts said.

If they are not already doing it, experts agreed Lurie Children's must institute a robust ongoing security program for all employees. That means everyone must know the importance of managing passwords, logins and other related items.

A call center has been established to address needs including non-urgent patient requests, care questions, information regarding scheduled patient appointments, and patient prescription refill requests.

The Lurie Children's call center can be reached by calling 1-800-543-7362, and is operational Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Patients should visit for the most up to date information about their operations.