The Top 40 supplier experienced a systems and network outage Thursday, March 23, but announced Friday morning that it was operational again.
UPDATE 8:45 AM ET Friday, March 24, 2023 As of Friday morning, Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125) says that it has “restored operations and can begin to take new orders and process existing orders. We continue to investigate what occurred with our forensics consultants and will provide additional updates as we can.”
The announcement comes after the Florida-based Top 40 supplier suffered an outage of its systems and networks on Thursday, March 23 following what was described as “unauthorized activity” in a “security incident.” Below is the original article that appeared on March 23 with more background details.
Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125), the fifth largest supplier in the North American promotional products industry, says that its systems and network have become unavailable following what was described as “unauthorized activity” discovered the morning of Thursday, March 23.
In a statement on what may be a cyberattack, the Florida-headquartered firm said that many services are down. Hit teams are evaluating the situation. The firm’s website wasn’t working and its phone systems were down as of early afternoon Thursday.
“Although we currently don’t know the scope of this event, we are working hard to contain it,” Hit said in a statement. “We will provide additional updates as we have them.”
Speaking to ASI Media early the afternoon of March 23, Hit President Eric Shonebarger added, “We have engaged an industry leading forensics firm to assist us in the investigation of the unauthorized activity and outage. That work is already underway.” Shonebarger told ASI Media that the situation is currently being labeled as a “security incident.”
Hit noted that, despite the outage, it is shipping some production-ready orders on March 23. Other orders, however, could be delayed.
“We are working with customers to verify proofs to keep orders moving however we can during this period,” Shonebarger told ASI Media.
Hit added in a statement: “Thank you for your continued patience. We will provide additional updates as we have them.”
Based on reported 2021 North American promo product revenue of $433.8 million, Hit ranked fifth on Counselor’s most recent list of the largest suppliers in the industry.
Cyberattacks have been on the rise. A study from cyberthreat intelligence outfit Check Point Research, for instance, found that cyberattacks increased 38% globally in 2022. The escalation was even more pronounced in North America, where attacks jumped by 52% year over year, the research found. In the U.S. in particular, attacks accelerated by 57%.
Like other businesses across industries, promotional products suppliers and distributors have increasingly been targeted and victimized by cyberattacks in recent years. Top 40 suppliers that include alphabroder (asi/34063) and Bag Makers (asi/37940) have been among those to suffer breaches that temporarily crippled business. MV Sport/The Game (asi/68318)sustained an attackin September/October 2022. Aakron Line (asi/30270)dealt witha malware issue. HanesBrands (asi/59528) wascompromised last year. Essent Corporation, a promo-focused business management platform, fell prey to an encryption attack in late 2022.Cybersecurity testingcan help protect against attacks.
ASI Media has also reported extensively on an apparent rise in organized scammers trying to con industry firms into providing products for which the crooks will never pay. Another example of the scheme, aimed at a New England distributor, was advanced in February.