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Tolar Systems Blog

Tolar Systems has been serving the Abilene area since 2000, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Windows 7 End of Life: What You Need to Know

Microsoft has announced that as of January 2020, it will be ending support for its popular Windows 7 Operating System. This is the end of life (known in the industry as EOL) for Windows 7, which first entered service in October of 2009 and at its peak had more than 630 million licenses sold worldwide. But all good things must come to an end: find out what the end of life for Windows 7 means for those organizations still using this once-popular operating system.

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Five Tips for Organizing Document Storage in OneDrive and Sharepoint

Cloud-based document storage tools like OneDrive and SharePoint have evolved to deliver multiple ways to organize and find files. Yet, many users still manage their document storage using outdated methods, even after moving their document storage to the cloud. In this week’s blog, we’re providing a few tips to help make organizing document storage easier in OneDrive and SharePoint.

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Selecting Cloud Storage for Your Business, part 2: Comparing Options

In our last cloud storage post, we discussed the pros and cons of free versus paid cloud storage for your business. Today, we’re going to compare Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox for Business, the most popular and feature-rich options for business cloud storage, and provide some ideas about what to consider when making your decision. Read on to learn how the most popular cloud storage options stack up.

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Selecting Cloud Storage for Your Business, Part 1: To Free or Not To Free

Let’s face it: we’re all swimming in data. Whether it’s generated by businesses or individuals, the amount of data generated worldwide today exceeds 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day. A quintillion, by the way, has 18 zeroes! By 2020, it’s expected that more than 1.7 MB of data will be created every second for every single human on earth.

Business data is a big part of that. If your business is already struggling to manage the data it generates today, imagine the world of the future where each employee is generating more than a megabyte of data every second. Where will you store it all?

The answer, if you’re like many businesses, is likely to be the cloud. But how do you select the right cloud storage for your business?

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Don't be Phished In! How to Spot Malicious Emails

Fishing season may be starting soon, but there's another type of "phishing" that's always in season - and that's the kind that comes in your email, not at the lake.

Email is not only a mission critical tool for communication and collaboration, it's also one of the primary ways that criminals attempt to infiltrate client networks to steal data, hold it for ransom and damage business reputations. Over the last year, these attempts have escalated, placing our client networks at greater risk.

"Phishing" is the most common types of malicious email attacks we're seeing. And like most email-based attacks, phishing depends on user trust to work. So, our technicians took the lead on providing the following tips to help our clients prevent being "phished in."

Read on to learn more about the different types of phishing attacks, and what you can do to prevent being "phished in." 23509926 s

Phishing attacks take many forms, but they all share a common goal – getting you to share sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card information, or bank account details. Although Tolar maintains controls to help protect client networks and computers from cyber threats, users still play a key role in preventing these attacks from succeeding.

We’ve outlined below a few different types of phishing attacks to watch out for, along with some ways to protect yourself and your business.

4 Types of Phishing

  • Phishing. In this type of attack, hackers impersonate a real company to obtain your login credentials. You may receive an e-mail asking you to verify your account details with a link that takes you to an imposter login screen that delivers your information directly to the attackers.
  • Spear Phishing. Spear phishing is a more sophisticated phishing attack that includes customized information that makes the attacker seem like a legitimate source. They may use your name and phone number and refer to IT by Design in the e-mail to trick you into thinking they have a connection to you, making you more likely to click a link or attachment that they provide.
  • Whaling. Whaling is a popular ploy aimed at getting you to transfer money or send sensitive information to an attacker via email by impersonating a real company executive. Using a fake domain that appears similar to ours, they look like normal emails from a high-level official of the company, typically the CEO or CFO, and ask you for sensitive information (including usernames and passwords).
  • Shared Document Phishing. You may receive an e-mail that appears to come from file-sharing sites like Dropbox or Google Drive alerting you that a document has been shared with you. The link provided in these e-mails will take you to a fake login page that mimics the real login page and will steal your account credentials.

How To Protect Yourself

To avoid these phishing schemes, please observe the following email best practices:

  • Do not click on links or attachments from senders that you do not recognize. Be especially wary of .zip or other compressed or executable file types.

  • Do not provide sensitive personal information (like usernames and passwords) over email.

  • Watch for email senders that use suspicious or misleading domain names.

  • Inspect URLs carefully to make sure they’re legitimate and not imposter sites.

  • Do not try to open any shared document that you’re not expecting to receive.

  • If you can’t tell if an email is legitimate or not, please email for the IT team to review.

  • Be especially cautious when opening attachments or clicking links if you receive an email containing a warning banner indicating that it originated from an external source.

Thanks again for helping to keep our networks and personal information from these cyber threats.

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Windows Server 2008 End of Life: What it Means to Your Business

Microsoft has announced that as of January 14, 2020, it will no longer support its Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 products. What does this mean to businesses that are still using Windows Server 2008 and how can your business prepare for the end of this trusted hardware’s lifecycle? Find out on today’s blog.

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Cybercrime: Is it really a threat to your business?

We’ve been posting a lot lately about cybersecurity. In part, this is because we’ve recently rolled out a cybersecurity solution called Complete Security. But that’s not the only reason. We truly believe that cybercrime is one of the biggest business threats to companies today; one that most are underprepared to manage.

In today’s post, we’ll give you four reasons and an example of why cybercrime and preventive cybersecurity should be top of mind when it comes to IT for businesses of all sizes.

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Email Spoofing: What it is and How to Stop it From Damaging Your Business

As with many other forms of cybercrime, Tolar Systems has been seeing an uptick in email spoofing attempts against the businesses we serve. In this post we’ll discuss email spoofing: what it is, why you should be concerned, and how to prevent spoofed emails from putting your business at risk with Microsoft Office365 Advanced Threat Protection.

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Tips for Staying Safe with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

We take security very seriously here at Tolar Systems. That’s one reason we’re so excited about the latest security feature that’s available with Microsoft’s Office365 software. The feature is called Office365 Advanced Threat Protection: it helps keep users and businesses safe from a variety of online threats.

On today’s blog, we’ll talk about what Advanced Threat Protection is, how it works and how users can make their online experience safer by using it.

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3 Reasons Cybersecurity Risk Threatens Small Businesses

We’ve all read the statistics that say about half of all small businesses will fail within the first five years. Some failures happen because of a poor business model. Others may fail if market for the business’s products or services is smaller than anticipated.

But even if your product and market can support a sustainable business, your company can still fail if you’re not prepared to manage the risks your business faces. One of the biggest challenges your business faces in 2019, is cybersecurity risk.

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Cybersecurity Should be Part of Managed Security Package

IT is the lifeblood of most small businesses today, making cybersecurity an important of your business and IT strategy. That's because if your IT systems are attacked, it can cause serious downtime that costs your business time and profits, not to mention hours of frustration. 

Many IT managed service providers (MSPs) can help your business respond in the event of a cyberattack.  But does your IT service provider go further and provide cybersecurity protection as well? If not, your business could be at huge risk. Cyberattacks are increasingly targeting small businesses because their security protocols tend to be less effective.

Luckily, there are services that can meet both the IT and cybersecurity needs of today's small business. Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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Confused by IT Service Providers? Choosing Between an MSP or VAR

Business owners today have many choices when it comes to where they get their IT services. This article will discuss two of those options for IT services—managed service providers, also called MSPs, and value-added resellers or VARs.

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Four Tips for Setting Your IT Budget in 2019

If you’re like more than two-thirds of small business owners, setting your 2019 IT budget may be something of a challenge. Here are a few of our tips for setting an IT budget that will position your organization for growth.

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Dynamics of Growth for SMBs Part 3: Overcoming Growth Challenges

Business growth proves the old adage that you can never rest on your laurels. Even if you're experiencing success today, you won’t necessarily succeed tomorrow by doing the same things. In fact, without careful management, growth and success can actually create their own unique set of problems. 

When growth goes wrong, you may find your business facing some serious challenges. Learn how to evolve and overcome them from Tolar Systems.

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Dynamics of Growth for SMBs part 2: Creating a Growth Culture

If you've successfully started your business down the path of growth that we discussed in "The Dynamics of Growth, part 1: Setting Your Business Up for Success," your small business or medium-sized business (SMB) has honed in on what you do best and hopefully the business is beginning to flourish. How do you keep that going while making sure that your employees and clients also succeed?

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Dynamics of Growth For SMBs, part 1: Setting Your Business Up for Success

Let's face it: growing your small or medium-sized business (SMB) is challenging. It takes time, diligence, savvy and no small amount of hard work. That's why on today's blog, we're kicking off a series of three articles where we'll identify how to set your business up for success, from identifying business goals, to creating a growth culture, and understanding the dynamics of growth.

In this first article in the series, we'll focus on goals, purpose and assessing your business' growth capabilities.

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Four Challenges with IT Outsourcing and How to Solve Them

When a business is considering outsourcing its IT management to a managed service provider, there are often questions about whether they’ll receive a comparable – or better – level of service and support to in-house IT management. In this post we’ll talk about some of the challenges companies sometimes experience with outsourcing IT, and how Tolar Systems solves them.

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Tolar Systems Thanks Our Clients and Community For a Great 2018!

As we look forward to 2019, we thought we’d pause to say thank you to our clients and community for a year of success and accomplishments in 2018. Here are a few of the moments that made 2018 a year of growth for us.

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IT Trends Coming to Abilene Business in 2019

2018 is nearly gone, and it is time to start thinking ahead to what 2019 will bring. Tolar Systems always provides predictions of what the big IT trends are for each year, and 2019 is no different. Keep reading for what we think will be important in the coming year:

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Invest in Your Business in 2019 With a Managed Service Provider

As 2018 draws to a close, many small and medium size business owners are looking for ways to optimize their technology budgets in 2019. It is increasingly critical in today's technology environment to maintain high system availability and top notch cybersecurity to protect your users and IT infrastructure, while also leveraging IT to make your business more profitable. But is it possible to meet all three of these goals at once? 

At Tolar Systems, we believe the answer is a clear yes. Managed service providers (MSPs) provide a variety of ways to help SMBs improve data security and leverage IT for growth while reducing your IT budget. Learn more on today's blog.

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