Snoop is a fintech start-up, established in spring of 2019 by a team of former senior managers at Virgin Money. Drawing on their heritage of building consumer champion brands and solutions, as well as the opportunities fostered by Open Banking, the co-founding group wanted to create an application which would deliver personalised advice to users across all of their spending, including direct debits and payment accounts.
AI-driven analysis and cloud-based platform
Snoop enables users to connect all bank accounts and payment cards to a single cloud-based platform, Open Banking
Snoop enables users to connect all of their bank accounts, credit cards and payment cards to a single cloud-based platform, Open Banking and then uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse their spending and transaction patterns. The powerful application then automatically identifies ways for users to ‘spend smarter, save smarter, live smarter’, using hyper-personalisation to provide them with a feed of ‘snoops’. These could include advice that a particular recurring payment is fluctuating, providing suggestions for recommended product switching, and tips to make a consumers money go further.
Whilst Snoop is not a bank, it does interface with systems that handle customers’ financial information and is regulated by the FCA and Open Banking regimes. As such, enterprise-grade cyber security services and a robust approach to identifying and managing cyber risk and compliance was critical from the outset. Partnering with third-party specialists who could provide this expertise from the beginning was vital.
Risk advisory and penetration testing services
SureCloud’s agile and flexible technology, as well as its broad expertise across cyber security and risk, made the company the perfect fit for advising Snoop as it builds its platform.
SureCloud partnered with Snoop in autumn 2019 and provided a range of risk advisory services, beginning with a holistic assessment of the cyber risk posture of Snoop that resulted in a prioritised roadmap of risk-based mitigation. This was complemented by traditional penetration testing across all aspects of Snoop’s website and mobile app and supplemented by ongoing cyber security expertise.
Strategic advisory and tactical testing
This combination of strategic advisory and tactical testing ensured that Snoop developed a Platform that incorporated true security-by-design and ensured a secure and compliant application from the outset, with risks prioritised and mitigated in a logical way. In addition, SureCloud is also supporting Snoop to understand how it needs to develop its internal capabilities to support these activities as the business grows.
“Building a start-up is different in almost every way from managing projects at an international organisation, and SureCloud understood that from the beginning,” said Jem Walters, Co-Founder & CTO at Snoop.
Secure, robust and compliant app
SureCloud’s services have helped us to build the most secure, robust and compliant app possible from day one"
Jem adds, “SureCloud’s services have helped us to build the most secure, robust and compliant app possible from day one, and are also helping us to develop our internal capability in line with our ongoing needs. SureCloud is more than a third-party supplier for the company. It is an integral partner for our team. Their expertise, responsiveness and flexibility enable us to meet our business and delivery objectives in a timely and efficient manner.”
The Snoop app beta was launched in February 2020 and SureCloud supports Snoop with regular cyber risk advisory and penetration testing services to ensure enterprise-grade security and peace of mind as the business grows rapidly.
“When processing users’ financial information, top-level security is absolutely critical,” said Walters, adding “SureCloud has not only ensured that we have built the most robust application from day one, its ongoing penetration testing and risk assurance means that we are generating ongoing intelligence as to our security status and risk profile. As you’d expect, we take security just as seriously as a bank, and SureCloud understands that perfectly.”
Expert risk advisory and cyber risk assessment
Walters further stated, “SureCloud has been great at understanding the journey we are on as a start-up. The team knew that we needed a really comprehensive cyber risk assessment, imagining multiple different future possibilities, but also that this would need to evolve and adapt as we built the platform. We have received expert advice from SureCloud throughout, both on our key cyber risks and how to best mitigate them.”
Snoop and SureCloud’s cloud-based technology offers a platform with security, compliance at its heart"
“In just a few months of being active, we have already processed over 12 million bank transactions and made over 10 million personalised recommendations, and this is before we’ve gone live to the general public,” said Walters, adding, “This is hugely exciting, but also an enormous challenge in terms of maintaining security and compliance as we start to scale rapidly. Both Snoop’s, and SureCloud’s cloud-based technology, means that we are building a platform with security and compliance at its heart.”
Efficient strategic partnership
“We are proud to be working with Snoop. The pedigree of the team is so strong and the app can make a really tangible difference to people’s lives,” said Ben Jepson, Vice President of Risk Advisory at SureCloud, adding “Working with a start-up brings very different challenges to working with an established business. You have to set out a comprehensive risk advisory roadmap, but also be ready for things to change very quickly. We’re very glad that our agile and adaptive philosophy has worked so well for Snoop.”
SureCloud is a provider of cloud-based, integrated risk management products and cyber security services, which reinvent the way businesses and individuals, manage risk. SureCloud also offers a wide range of cyber security testing and assurance services.