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Data Breaches Among Top Concerns for SMBs

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Data Breaches Among Top Concerns for SMBs

Posted on 19 September 2019 by CRadmin2

According to Tirena Dingeldein, blog author for popular software-vendor directory Capterra, data security has emerged as a main concern for small to medium sized businesses. For small businesses, even a single breach can be crippling. However, there are steps you can take to stave off these threats, keeping your data and your business safe and secure.

According to research conducted by Capterra in 2018, 71 percent of SMBs now use data security technologies, and data security is in the top three priorities for technology spending in the next two years.

Some business owners believe that they do not possess enough data to justify purchasing security software, and some believe that their data simply isn’t important enough to be targeted by criminals. The fact remains that even large companies can lose substantial amounts of business and revenue because of a data breach. Some of these large companies barely survive. Just think of how much damage a data breach can do to a small business.

The fact of the matter is that nearly 60 percent of SMBs fail within six months of a data breach after losing tons of money each month along the path to ruin. In addition, tech criminals see small businesses as easy targets, and an investigations report by Verizon backs this claim by finding that small businesses make up 75 percent of data breaches.

IBM calculates the cost of a data breach by record. For each record compromised, it costs a business approximately $148. This cost represents what an SMB will have to spend in the recovery process. Kaspersky Labs has also conducted a cost analysis, and this software company estimates that a single data breach incident will cost $120,000.

The following three steps are crucial in mitigating the risk of a security breach:

  1. Purchase and implement data security software – This usually takes three forms: network security software to scan and monitor intrusions and vulnerabilities, data loss prevention software to help a business manage sensitive data and computer security software to provide file access control.
  2. Purchase data breach liability insurance – In the event of a data breach, insurance can be invaluable in covering all the associated costs. Insurance can help pay for a variety of losses, including lawsuits and brand cleanup, and it can be reasonably priced for SMBs.
  3. Create a response and recovery plan – If the unthinkable occurs, and hackers get through your data security software, it can help immensely to have a plan of action already prepared.

For more information on protecting your SMB from a data security breach, please see the original article on the Capterra blog.

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Laminate Makes a Comeback

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Laminate Makes a Comeback

Posted on 16 May 2019 by cradmin

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, laminate countertops are making a comeback, especially among Millennials. Homeowners who are 30 to 50 years of age still have a distaste for laminate because their memories are from the 1960s and 1970s, when it was blandly colored or designed with only stripes or squiggly lines. They see it, like wallpaper, as outdated.

Since 2005, laminate has been making a comeback. As new materials, such as hardwoods, stone and concrete began being used for countertops in earnest, laminate has been updated to include designs that mimic the look and feel of stone and wood.

Laminate was first made by Westinghouse, but an employee, Daniel J. O’Conor, left the company and co-founded Formica. This high-pressure decorative laminate was used for tabletops in the 1920s and for bars the 1930s. However, the housing boom gave the industry its big break.

Laminate was thought of as a luxury in the 1950s, and although its popularity has diminished, it is still the most common material used for countertops. According to the author, Caylin Harris, laminate countertops then fell in popularity in the 1970s with a resurgence in the 1980s.

After another steep decline, new Millennial homeowners entered the market, and they did not have the stigma of the over-styled designs of the 1980s. Wilsonart actually targeted Millennials for a research study which showed that young homeowners wanted something that looked like other natural surfaces but more affordable.

To meet the growing demand, Wilsonart and Formica are employing new technologies to fabricate the look and texture of the material. Some designs also use state-of-the-art printing technology.

The current laminate being produced by these two powerhouses of the industry look just like the real, natural materials, but some say that may not be enough.

However, laminate is also more durable than before. Finishes are now scratch resistant, but a large gouge could ruin it. Heat can also damage laminate, but again, the laminate of today withstand temperatures up to 400 F. Another downside is that the seams are more noticeable than they are with natural stone, engineered stone and solid surface.

To read the full article, click here.

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An Early Look at 2015 Kitchen Trends

Posted on 17 October 2014 by cradmin

Somrak-KitchensAlthough we are still in the autumn of 2014, most of us are already looking at what 2015 has in store for us. Much of our business depends on being able to accurately predict the latest trends, and many people are already taking a shot at what will be popular for new and redesigned homes next year. When it comes to kitchens, several opinions are floating around news outlets and blogs, and countertops are not going unnoticed. According to HGTV’s 9 Hot Trends for Today’s Kitchens , homeowners are moving away from continuous counters that fit around the perimeter and instead prefer freestanding pieces and island countertops. This is because the kitchen is being seen less as a utilitarian room for cooking but more as another type of living space. In addition, many people are now in the market for artistic upgrades to make their kitchens unique, and recycled materials, such as those containing depression-era glass, are becoming popular.

HGTV goes on to name the Top Countertop Materials for the Kitchen. Granite makes the list for being timeless, durable and easy to clean while some modern kitchens now have stainless steel countertops because they are nonporous, do not have to be sealed and resist bacterial growth. Another countertop material that is gaining popularity, according to HGTV, is butcher block, which is said to add warmth and rustic elegance.

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Although marble is often considered too soft for kitchens, it is beloved by bakers and adds an element of glamour. Another material that is gaining widespread popularity is concrete. These countertops are versatile and can be designed and dyed to complement any décor. Finally, quartz is the countertop material of choice for many because of its stain and scratch resistance and its uniform look.

An article published by LowesEmployees.com, Kitchen Trends or Kitchen Nightmares? Remodeling for 2015 covers remodeling trends for the coming year. Most kitchen remodels now include a change in countertops, and to corroborate HGTV, granite and quartz are the most popular choices. However, marble and tile countertops are close behind. In addition, countertops are increasingly being seen as an important element of the “kitchen triangle,” which is the busy space between the sink, range and refrigerator.

Another source of early kitchen trends for 2015 is Sharon’s Style Portfolio, the official blog of Sharon McCormick Design, LLC, in Durham, Conn. According to McCormick, the ultra-minimalist kitchen is starting to make waves. These so-called “invisible kitchens” were popularized by the Dutch Architectural firm known as i29 and show only a low profile countertop that is only a few centimeters thick, a faucet and a sink. All other fixtures and appliances are hidden behind sliding wall panels.

i29-Invisible-Kitchen

When it comes to countertops, McCormick proclaims that textured surfaces, such as leathered granite are gaining a foothold. She also asserts, like many of the others, that metal countertops, including stainless steel and copper are extremely popular. Last December, we ran a story about EOS Surfaces, distributed by Wilsonart, which is a copper-enhanced surfacing material that kills 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours of exposure. This material is so popular that production is estimated to take more than a year to catch up with orders, and it has yet to be released for residential use.

Another trend recently reported by Realty Today, is the use of black and other dark colors in the kitchen. While this is not new for 2015, it seems to be catching on in the mainstream, especially with younger homeowners who are moving away from the old, sterile white of the parents and grandparents. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on the subject, Maria Stapperfenne, president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), said, “People aren’t afraid of the dark.”

New York architect Richard Sammons of Fairfax & Sammons stated, “Dark materials create atmosphere. They are a corrective antidote to the antiseptic quality of the 20th-century white-enameled kitchen or the professional stainless steel kitchen so recently in vogue.”

While we here at CountertopResource.com do not profess to have the ability to see the future, we do take into consideration the attempts of all others. What do you believe 2015 has in store for the kitchen and countertop industry? Let us know in the comments below or by sending an email to [email protected].

You may also be interested in this updated version of this article on 2015 kitchen trends that also focuses on 2015 countertop trends we have been observing or this 2015 forecast for the countertop and surfacing industry.

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