More than half of utilities expect a cyber-attack on critical infrastructure in the next year, says a new report backed by Siemens that warns of a growing threat to operators of assets including wind and solar plants.

The global utility sector faces increasing vulnerability as it creates more interlinked networks to extract the benefits of digitalisation – but also opening security gaps for hackers, warns the study by the German industrial giant and the Ponemon Institute.

A survey of more than 1,700 utility professionals for the study suggests the risk of cyber-attacks on the industry may be worsening, with 56% of respondents reporting at least one shutdown or operational data loss per year, and 25% impacted by ‘mega-attacks’.