Just over half of businesses are worried that their energy suppliers aren’t taking enough step to protect their data, according to a new survey.

A poll of more than 500 firms carried out by accountancy practice PwC found that two-thirds are concerned about the cyber-risks associated with energy technology.

Steve Jennings, Power and Utilities Leader at PwC, said: “With cyber-criminals able to turn off the supply tap as well as monetise data from energy firm’s customer and employee digital records, the risk is clear and cannot be ignored.

“It’s vital that energy suppliers gain the confidence of their customers by clearly demonstrating their ability to not only identify innovative technologies but critically to enhance their cybersecurity capabilities to respond to a range of sector specific events that could increase vulnerability.”

Switching suppliers

The survey highlighted concerns over criminals accessing customers’ usage data, as well as the risk of cyber-attacks against power stations, smart meters and other grid infrastructure.

If their energy supplier was fell victim to a cyber-attack then 70% of industrial businesses and 57% of companies in general would switch supplier, the poll found.

PwC highlighted the risks associated with outsourcing the handling of customer data to third-party information technology (IT) companies.

> Read PwC's announcement