KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Most of us have a lot of fun with pumpkins and Halloween costumes in October, but did you know October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

To help you learn more about keeping your data safe, WATE’s Don Dare visited a unique facility where business data is tightly monitored and secured. For each piece of equipment inside their building, there is a backup at TenHats. Their goal is to provide the best security and monitoring capability possible for their clients.

Wade Orloski, the facilities manager, gave Dare a behind-the-scenes tour of a state-of-the-art data center, called TenHats. The data stored by the company is about as safe as humanly possible. With the high levels of demand in secure network traffic, no chances are taken here.

“This is a tier 4 co-location data center which is very unique for the United States There are only about six or seven in the United States,” said Orloski.

Its uniqueness can be seen in the UPS room. It provides an Uninterruptible Power Supply, or UPS, with a second independent backup. All components have the support of two generators, as well. Two cooling systems also keep everything working properly.

“Different companies actually bring their racks here and store their information here. It could be health care, it could be banks, transportation. All these different companies are actually in this facility,” said Orloski.

The data facility is well protected both inside and out. Orloski shared that the center has gone through extensive testing to verify that its redundancies performed as intended – they did. The company received its prestigious commissioning certificate and with 10,000 square feet of space inside, there is room for growth.

“So we’re about a quarter-way full right now. We were commissioned back in April 2020. And, we still have a lot more space for people to come in,” said Orloski.

The company’s Network Operations Center has round-the-clock support. If there is an issue, the team is always ready to help. Monitoring and securing company data is the central purpose of this center.

Matt Collier is TenHats Cybersecurity Services Manager. He knows security is not just a big business problem.

“Our stuff is out there more than ever, all of our information is out there. Everyone is collecting it. It’s being collected from your phone, from your computer, from what you are watching on TV. Trying to protect that data is becoming more and more difficult,” said Collier.

Dare showed him a recent email, was someone trying to collect my information on the sly? Apparently, so, the business name didn’t match up with the address.

A phishing email sent to WATE’s Don Dare. (WATE)

“You would assume the email address would not be a Gmail.com address, that would be the first thing I would look at,” Collier said. “One thing, when you get that email, if it is too good to be true it probably is. So go with your gut there, go with your common sense.”

One security miscue that gets a lot of people in trouble is using the same password.

“I get it you don’t want to have to take extra steps to get into your bank account, Facebook, or where ever you are trying to log in. But security is not always convenient,” Collier said. “We all see it on the news every day of scammers trying to get your social security numbers, credit card numbers, get you to send them money. So just be aware. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

To protect your information, there are several key behaviors you can practice. Here they are:

  • Use strong passwords and a password manager.
  • Update your software, frequently.
  • Recognize phishing attacks and don’t click on unfamiliar links.
  • Use the multi-factor authentication layered approach. It’s a system requiring two or more credentials to verify your identity to login.