Berkshire based Filestream is a provider of document management solutions to organisations of all sizes, ensuring enhanced efficiency, encrypted security and protection against hacking, ransomware and phishing attacks – on premise or Cloud.
The need for this type of support has come to the fore in recent weeks following the news that several brands have suffered alleged data leaks including Tesla, Samsung, Toyota, Capita, Revolut and even the Irish police force. Yet these data leaks are simply those which make the news. The problem of cyber attack is monumental. According to the Independent there’s a hacker attack every 39 seconds.
IBM Security’s ‘Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022’ says 83 per cent of organisations have had one or more data breach and around 42 million records were allegedly exposed to a data breach between March 2021 and February 2022. Goodness knows what those figures look like now.
Yet, even with these staggering and worrying statistics, it’s still the voices behind any business which makes the service or product come to life. It’s often a personality which makes someone pick up the phone or send an email to find out more information.
With that in mind meet Paul Day, technical director of Filestream.
What does Filestream do?
We’re a document management company based in the UK and our servers are based in the UK too, which is quite unusual. We believe we offer our customers more than document management, we offer a lot of integrations and customizations with their other systems meaning we help them work seamlessly and securely day to day.
What is document management?
It’s the process of organising documents so they’re easily retrievable. There’s obviously lots of studies out there that says the average person takes 18 minutes to find a document so with us it will take seconds.
With us, everything is encrypted to AES 256, so should you get any data breaches, the data is encrypted and no one’s going to be able to get everything – we can minimise damage through encryption.
Why is security increasingly important?
The biggest risk for a company today lies with their online security which includes data breaches. You don’t have to listen very hard to see how many data breaches are happening day in, day out.
And this is relevant to every type of company from a sole traders and micro businesses to a large corporation. Unfortunately, most of the smaller companies think that they’re exempt and they won’t get the viruses, but they are unfortunately just as much at risk as the bigger companies.
Any company that’s holding personal identifying information in their systems needs to have a proper plan of encryption to keep data safe.
What is the difference between Filestream and Google Docs or SharePoint?
SharePoint and Google Docs are repositories. That’s where you can put your documents. It doesn’t mean that you can go and search for them quickly. It’s not stored in a database.
We offer security and much deeper functionality. Documents with us are tagged so that they can be found instantly. Our software is compatible with those other services yet our systems are encrypted and secure.
Who do you work with?
We’ve got clients like Carnival Cruises and Scania Trucks who have got companies all over the world. We’ve got, believe it or not, around 15 installs in India and some in Nigeria.
We often work very closely with the HR department of a company given the amount of personal data they store – these departments very quickly realise how valuable our service can be.
P&O is probably the biggest example of this. We help the team manage the 80,000 employees on their boats. For Scania Trucks we manage all the service records for their staff. Financial companies, BNP Paribas and Metro Bank are also customers of ours.
Do you work with any individuals?
We do support a couple of very famous people, helping them keeping their data secure. Obviously, I can’t name their names but well known individuals are at risk of hacking too.
Hackers often demand a ransom to restore your data, and regrettably, many individuals are willing to pay. However, this can lead to a double whammy when the perpetrator exposes the data theft. Furthermore, if a company fails to report the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), they become liable for the fines related to the data breach.
A big story has broken recently around the police in Ireland. That potentially has very wide repercussions, doesn’t it?
For the ones we hear about in the news, I would imagine there’s probably at least five we don’t hear about. It must be remembered that the companies that have been hacked are still responsible for the data breach. We offer our customers the guarantee of total encryption so if you’ve got a data breach you can admit you’ve got a data breach, but you will not be able to lose that data.
What investment is required?
It’s not a lot, but unfortunately, for some it’s tough to accept as they may be using software that’s free of charge. I try to educate people to say if something’s generally free, then there’s reasons it’s free because they’re not taking the responsibility of your data – you are responsible for your data.
I could quite easily put my documents in Google Docs however, in the small print they’re the processor of the information. I’m the control of the information.
We sell a service where five concurrent users can use the software system, with support included for £210 plus VAT a month. So, you know, it’s not a lot of money, considering the reputational damage of somebody having a company data breach.
How did you get involved with Filestream?
When I first started here, Filestream was an office equipment company, so I was employed to install and deliver office equipment, fax machines, photocopiers. I literally drove a van and carried out deliveries.
I then progressed to become an engineer. I was trained by the company and the manufacturers to repair their machines and from then onwards, I moved up through the channels. I became service manager, managing engineers all over the country.
The office equipment company was sold in 2008 and we just went forward with the software which we developed under the Filestream banner. Today I advise clients on what’s the best thing to do with their data and I’m a qualified GDPR practitiioner. I manage a lot of our bigger accounts.
Since about 2014 I’ve been a director of the company alongside the founders Charles Hooker and Jolyon Wilkinson.
What was your dream job when you were at school?
It may sound weird but my ultimate dream was to become a chiropodist. Unfortunately, when I was 16 years old somebody offered me a job with a wage packet that seemed better at the time than not working. I wouldn’t say I regret it because obviously I’ve done a lot in my life, things that I wouldn’t normally have done. But one day, who knows?
I’ve heard a whisper that you are also known as Santa Claus?
Yes in December. I’m already booked up for most of the weekends in December this year. In fact, I’ve been Santa Claus for about the last 25 years. And that started with my sister’s Rainbows group and I still visit that group today wearing the big red suit.
A few years ago I can assure you even my own children didn’t recognise me. So that’s always good when you can confuse your own children!
It’s just a fun time where I volunteer and I get the reward of seeing children’s faces and know full well that I’m doing some good for the charities that require my services.
You took on a big charity event in September too?
I put my name down to take part in the world’s first skyscraper challenge which involved me running up 1, 092 stairs of a building in London known as the cheese grater.
Once I reached the top, I had the pleasure of putting on a harness and then abseiling 200 metres from the roof. I had been training for that for about ten months and it changed me a lot. I managed to run up the stairs in about 12 minutes, followed by the abseil. And the fastest I can do it is 100 seconds because obviously for safety, we’re restricted on speed.
I did the challenge for Tommy’s which is a baby charity, and that’s quite personal for me because my niece and her partner lost a baby. So doing something like this is doing something for them as well.
Do you mean your weight has changed or your fitness?
Both. I was rather large. I was just under 22 stone when I committed to this event. I’m now closer to 16 stone – that is six stones in weight loss. It’s quite a lot.
I did a lot of training, in the gym three times a week and I’m keeping that going. I also do some martial arts. Basically this has all taken ten inches off my chest measurements and eight inches off my waist measurement. So when people see me and haven’t seen me for a while they’re like, are you OK? I reply of course, I’m feeling really good!
Find out more about Filestream