There was a time, decades ago, when most computerized business data was on a single computer (likely a mainframe), and the only way to access it was a terminal inside of the building.  Those days are long gone.

It started when desktops became common – business data was stored on many computers at that point.  Then, the internet came along, and connected the entire world with those computers.  This provided two different ways that your corporate data could walk out of your office – through discs, and via the internet.

The death knell for centralized data was the advent of Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS products.  It’s not uncommon for businesses to use a different SaaS product for a half-dozen different goals: marketing, HR/payroll, product development, and even customer survey software all store data on the ‘cloud.’  In the worst cases, IT departments may not even be aware of what software is being used, making it impossible for them to secure your company’s data because they simply don’t know that it has left the building or where it went.

Recent data theft of customers at massive companies like Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet serve as a potent reminder that you can’t rely on third parties to protect your data.  The Dun & Bradstreet data breach was an especially potent reminder – they weren’t hacked directly, but a third party with access to their data was breached.  In fact, it’s not even clear that Dun & Bradstreet knows which third party was hacked, because multiple companies had the data available to them.

It’s important for your IT department to know what software is being used by all teams within your company.  If ‘the cloud’ seems overly nebulous, that’s because it is.  ‘The cloud’ is actually thousands of different data servers located all over the world.  Each of them has different levels of security and encryption protecting the data of third parties like your company, and every SaaS provider your company uses represents a different set of risks.  This is why, for all of the productivity and cost-saving benefits SaaS products can bring, they are not the perfect solution they’re sometimes made out to be.

Someone with the technical expertise to ensure that data is being held securely needs to be able to identify which third parties have access to the data, and how the data is being stored.  Without that oversight, you might be the next company that finds your data online and wonders exactly which software provider was responsible for the leak.

To learn how WingSwept protects the data of its small and mid-sized clients, call us at 919.779.0954 or email us at and ask about our Managed Service Offering.