Tuesday 21 May 2019 2:58 pm

Firms must be more open about cyber attacks, says Fidelity International boss

Companies must put competition aside and take a more collaborative approach to fighting cyber crime, a top asset management boss has said.

Fidelity International chief executive Anne Richards urged firms to be more open in sharing information about cyber attacks in a bid to minimise future threats.

Read more: Don’t let trust become the next plaything of the cyber criminals

“I think collaboration is really important across the industry because, particularly with the cyber aspects, one of the absolutely critical things is the speed of response,” Richards told the City Week conference in London today.

“Because we’re worried about competition and because we’re always tried to minimise reputational risks and damage, I don’t think we’ve historically always been as fast at sharing with other people in the ecosystem.”

Richards, who is one of the best-known figures in the asset management sector, said new regulation had helped improve corporate attitudes towards cybersecurity.

But she warned a reluctance to share information may have caused problems to escalate faster than they might otherwise have done.

Richards also called for “safe places” where firms can share information on cybersecurity to stop threats from becoming more systemic.

Read more: Cyber criminals face EU sanctions under new crackdown

Speaking alongside Richards, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) chief executive Sam Woods said the regulator was taking an “exploratory” approach to cybersecurity issues.

Woods said the PRA is looking to take a similar approach to cybersecurity as it does to capital, and will expect businesses to carry out stress testing to ensure they could withstand an attack on their critical systems.