(UPDATE: Hit Promotional Products announced via social media on Friday morning that its systems had been restored. The company’s website was again up and functional.)

One of the industry’s largest suppliers may be the latest victim of a challenge to its cybersecurity.

Hit Promotional Products (PPAI 113910, S14) on Thursday morning suffered what appears to be a technology breach that took down many of its technology systems.

Hit has referred to the incident as “unauthorized activity” in its technology environment. Company President Eric Shonebarger says an investigation into the incident began Thursday. The company’s website and phone systems were not working throughout Thursday and into the early hours of Friday morning before being recovered. Hit released a statement on its social media pages explaining the situation on Friday: “As of this morning, we have 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.”

As the company worked through the challenge on Thursday, Shonebarger told PPAI Media, “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. Our team is also shipping production ready orders today and working with customers to verify proofs to keep orders moving however we can during this period.”

Mid-morning Thursday, Hit notified customers of its downed systems with its first social media statement on the situation.

“Early this morning, we identified unauthorized activity in our environment that has caused our systems and network to become unavailable. At this time, many services are down as we evaluate this situation. Even with this outage, we are shipping some production-ready orders today. Other orders may be delayed while we work through this issue.

“Although we currently do not know the scope of this event, we are working hard to contain it and evaluate impact. We will provide additional updates as we have them.

“Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this time.”

The apparent breach at Hit is the latest in a string of cybersecurity challenges the promo industry has experienced. Ransomware attacks on business service providers have hampered industry businesses in recent months.

Last spring, another large supplier was targeted when HanesBrands was the victim of a ransomware attack. The company participates in the promotional products industry as Hanes/Champion/ComfortWash (PPAI 191138, S10) and Alternative Apparel (PPAI 217134, S5).

Meanwhile, distributors are keeping vigilant in the wake of instances of online fraud and hacking.

PPAI Media will continue to follow developments at Hit and provide updates as they are available.