An innovative product for keeping mobile phones, tablets and laptops safe from wiping or tampering is securing the fortunes of a Tamworth technology business.
DiskLabs has seen turnover rise to £2m and the workforce grow to 11 people following the launch of the ‘Faraday Bag’.
The product, developed with the support of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), has already gained the company a glowing reputation within the forensic investigation, law enforcement and military sectors and this is now being leveraged within the corporate sector and with local authorities.
Matt Jones, director at DiskLabs, said: “We studied the law enforcement sector and identified there was a need for the protection of evidence stored on mobile devices. A lot of digital material is capable of being wiped from the devices [smartphones, tablets, PDAs, laptops and others] if they are not adequately shielded.
“The Faraday Bag stops any signal from getting through to the phone or other device, thereby preserving its content from outside interference, including wiping, tampering, locking, tracking and bugging.”
“The technology works by using electromagnetic shields to block external static electrical fields, such as mobile phones, tablets or similar devices.”
The latest Faraday Bag is more efficient at blocking out interference and – for the first time – touch controls can be accessed while still in the bag.
While the law enforcement sector proved an obvious first market for the product, the company is now seeing a rapid take-up in other markets.
“There is a much greater need these days for businesses to protect their data and we are finding a lot of interest in the corporate sector,” said Jones.
“We have been selling a lot to mining companies who operate in places, such as Africa and China. Their representatives need to protect their devices from being hacked via Bluetooth so what we have been finding is that a lot of them will place their devices into a Faraday Bag before they enter a meeting to ensure data is protected.”
DiskLabs has also found that local authorities – which now have a weightier regulatory role – are also using the bags. This is in areas such as trading standards, where it is vital that information stored on seized devices is protected and evidence gathered during lengthy investigations is secure.
“MAS assisted us with the re-design, which has improved the product. It has also helped to improve our manufacturing process and we now manufacture everything in the UK whereas before we were using companies in China,” said Jones.
“We were also introduced to a firm in the West Midlands that we now use as our manufacturing supplier. This has given us much greater control over the production operation and improved the finished product considerably.
“Production levels have been steadily rising as demand grows and our aim for 2014 is to produce somewhere between 7,000-8,000 bags.
“Our products are sold all over the world but we want to sustain growth by opening up new export markets and are also hopeful of re-entering the US again.”
MAS advisor Maxine Chapman continued: “DiskLabs recognised the need to reconfigure and remanufacture some of the key products in order to meet client needs so we helped it to achieve this.
“We shortened the supply chain by introducing the business to not just UK-based manufacturers but ones within the West Midlands, thereby drastically cutting its production costs in the process.”
She concluded: “International trade is vital for the firm and UK Trade and Investment has played an important role through its ‘Passport to Export’ initiative.
“This has given the management team access to best practice events and greater knowledge and understanding of new markets, including Oman, Malaysia and Mongolia.”