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Toyota supplier cyberattack shutdowns 14 automobile plants

There are ways that firms similar to the automobile giant can act in order to reduce the impact of such incidents.

A weaker yen, high demand and internal cost-cutting measures have cushioned Toyota's profits despite the production cuts
Image: © AFP Kazuhiro NOGI
Image: © AFP Kazuhiro NOGI

Toyota plastic parts supplier Kojima Industries has suffered a cyberattack. The consequence of this is to force Toyota to suspend operation of 28 production lines across 14 plants in Japan. This disruption will severely impact output during March 2022 and it is expected to result in a 5 percent monthly drop in Japan production, which represents about 13,000 units.

Kojima is a business partner of the Toyota Motor Corporation that manufactures interior and exterior automotive components. The system failure at Kojima meant the supplier was unable to ship parts.

Looking into the incident is Nick Tausek, Security Automation Architect at Swimlane.

Tausek looks at the level of vulnerability that the incident raises. He finds: “This cyberattack on Toyota supplier Kojima Industries demonstrates just how easily the impacts of a cyberattack can spread beyond the initial target.”

In terms of the implications of the actual incident, Tausek notes: “In this case, Toyota has been forced to shut down the operations of 28 production lines across 14 plants in Japan.”

What is of concern is not Toyota itself. Which has robust cybersecurity measures, but its network of suppliers. In particular, small or mid-level subcontractors are not as strongly protected.

There are ways that firms similar to the automobile giant can act in order to reduce the impact of such incidents. Tausek finds: “To prevent cyberattacks such as the one on Kojima Industries from further disrupting the supply chain and halting crucial production processes, enterprises must ensure cybersecurity practices remain top-of-mind.”

He also recommends: “Leveraging low-code security automation is a proactive way for companies to secure IT systems and mitigate outside threats. Multi-faceted cybersecurity platforms that streamline and centralize detection, response and investigation protocols allow for comprehensive, top-notch protection without the chance of human error.”

Putting these together helps to build a more robust and sustainable security framework. Tausek concludes: “With these systems in place, security-related tasks can be carried out in a reliable and organized manner, ultimately keeping crucial businesses and their correlating establishments up and running without disruption.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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