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January 2023 - Page 3 of 3 - SEO TOP AGENCY

Striking the Balance Between Security and Innovation

An innovative and trendy solution of sharing your contact information, doup. (it rhymes with “soap”), aims to save the planet with a convenient way of connecting people. But when user data is the core of your business, you need secure and reliable hosting that can keep up.

Business cards are a product ripe for innovation. Low-tech and resource-intensive, taking those easily-lost pieces of paper online just makes sense. That was Mantas Michalauskas’s reasoning when he cofounded doup., which represents a new era of business cards.

Unlike some other digital business cards, doup. doesn’t require the user to download an app and allows everyone with an internet connection to see your contact details. This innovative system found its home on Hostinger, the ideal hosting provider to meet doup.’s high demands.

A Mantas on a Mission

doup.'s business cards and products.

For co-founder and COO Mantas, entrepreneurship is in his blood. His superpower is to take simple solutions and make them more attractive and convenient to users. The key is listening to users’ needs and translating them into an indispensable product.

Mantas initially put his marketing degree to work as a Marketing Manager for various brands before embarking on his own venture. His company, doup., was initially founded as a 3D design agency long before the idea of ​​business cards was on the table.

After finding success in Lithuania with a different side project – a fundraising platform called Contribee – Mantas and his colleagues put up. on the back burner while the designers found other jobs. Mantas was about to close doup. when a colleague from previous projects suggested the idea of ​​selling business cards.

Mantas was intrigued, and together they started to think about what they could offer to their clients and how they could differentiate themselves from the competition.

Why Business Cards?

The need for business cards has remained in the digital age, and companies are still actively using them. While face-to-face meetings were less common during the lockdowns, now they’re back, with people actively sharing their contacts and ordering business cards.

The aim of doup. is to replace an outdated product with an alternative that saves the company money, is sustainable, and extends the possibilities of contact sharing. People can save their contacts on the phone, eliminating the risk of losing them and allowing synchronization and editing at any time.

“The idea itself came to my colleague because of the sustainability aspect,” explains Mantas. “As the owner of another company, he was faced with a high turnover of employees, which meant that he had to change their business cards very frequently. That’s when he started looking for potential solutions.”

Digital business cards have been gaining traction over the past decade as people increasingly recognize the drawbacks of relying on physical, printed cards. By digitizing the product, fewer natural materials are used, the costs are lower, and the user has more flexibility when changing their details.

“doup. is not an innovation that we exclusively invented.” Mantas says, “There certainly are alternatives, but none have caught on in the Lithuanian market and the surrounding countries. We saw a niche, realized that we could offer a more practical and better product, and decided to seize the opportunity.”

The company created a platform, which was launched at the end of 2021, and began a communication campaign with influencers that winter.

This showed positive results, and sales immediately began to increase. It was an indication that with doup. they could achieve something special.

Behind the Curtain of doup.

While the idea behind digital business cards may not be a novel one, what doup. has innovated is the design of its system.

A doup. customer buys the physical card product and pays a one-off fee. This gives them free access to the online platform. They can edit their account and choose what to display on their profile, whether it’s personal and contact information, page links, social network accounts, documents, photos, or videos.

All this is available to users through a single product purchase and without the need for an app download. There are then several options for sharing contacts. All doup. products are equipped with an NFC chip, so when you touch your phone with the card, an account opens on your phone. There are also QR codes that can be shared with others.

“We are developing and improving the product daily, expanding the range and improving the functionality,” Mantas says. “We have recently launched a Pro version.”

If you prefer to use an app, doup. has you covered, too. The company recently launched an app that allows you to edit all your contacts. Even if you leave the physical product at home, you can open the app anytime and show the QR code. You can also create unique links to your profile that can be put on a social media description or sent to other people via email or Messenger.

The broad number of options, flexibility, and focus on the eastern European market means that doup. has been attracting a lot of interest from customers and investors alike.

A Word-of-Mouth Success

doup.'s co-founder Mantas Michalauskas.

A promotional campaign with influencers helped to kick doup.’s success off strongly. “Just posting a visual on Facebook is not enough to sell our product effectively,” explains Mantas. “People need to see how the connection between the card and the phone works to understand how cool it is and that they actually need it.”

While needing customers to see the product at work to understand its value may seem like a drawback, once a few doup. products were out in the world, it became a strength. Word-of-mouth marketing would become one of the most effective sales tools for the company.

“There was a period from February to April or May when we did absolutely no marketing campaigns because we had a limited budget, and it was mainly spent on improving the platform, developing the app, and launching new features,” says Mantas. “Sales did not stop at all. Every customer brings us at least one additional customer because they are satisfied and truly use our product.”

Impressed by the company’s success so far, a Maltese company is investing almost €200,000 in doup. This investment will fund an expansion, create new jobs, and allow employment. to open a branch in Malta to facilitate access to southern Europe.

“We have great ambitions and goals for a technological solution that will take off. to the next level. I won’t reveal too much yet, but it’s coming soon,” Mantas smiles.

How Reliable Hosting Makes doup. Possible

At the core of doup. is its website and the system inside. Naturally, then, the company’s success rests on reliable hosting that allows the team to securely collect users’ data while enjoying the flexibility to create and innovate.

With these specific needs in mind, Mantas chose to turn to Hostinger, on whose servers all doup. customer contacts are hosted.

“When I choose a service, I always make sure it has good support. We believe that providing excellent customer support is the number one aspect. Hostinger’s 24/7 support was something that stood out about this company from the very first days.”

The developers at doup. find that Hostinger offers the opportunity to bring their concepts to life online, whether it’s NFC business cards, eCommerce, or product usability. “We use the Cloud Professional hosting plan offered by Hostinger. It allows us to operate efficiently and expand our ideas. The main features we use are File Manager, MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin management, cron jobs, FTP accounts, and email accounts.”

With so much sensitive user data being collected, it’s crucial that security be tight. That’s taken care of – doup.’s hosting plan includes free SSL certificates for data encryption, dedicated resources, IP addresses, and advanced measures to protect against DDoS attacks.

It’s important to Mantas that security doesn’t get in the way of service and collaboration. “I was just saying to a colleague that it’s possible to give the freelancers or developers who work on the app separate access to the hosting account. This way, they could implement any updates needed for the app, but at the same time, they wouldn’t have access to our customers’ sensitive information.”

Mantas says, “Such flexibility is crucial for a company like ours.” This is why Hostinger remains dedicated to staying flexible as well as functional.


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wpadmin January 6, 2023 0 Comments

What is a Linux malware attack?

Linux environments have suffered a massive uptick in malware attacks over the past year, and bad actors are carrying out their attacks with the help of lots of different techniques. As an operating system that hosts various servers and backends for other applications, Linux has become the target of cybercriminals interested in compromising critical infrastructure.

Considering that Linux-targeted malware is on the rise and is becoming more sophisticated, organizations must understand which attacks they should look for and how best to secure their critical infrastructure along the way. To that end, let’s dive into what a Linux malware attack is, as well as the most common ones to keep an eye out for.

Linux malware attacks: what are they?

Most of the modern cloud environment’s hosts use Linux as an operating system, contributing to the recent rise in Linux-targeted malware attacks. Threat actors who successfully infiltrate Linux-based environments can compromise a vast array of sensitive assets and use ransomware to cause severe damage to critical infrastructure.

The past few years have seen bad actors attacking Linux-based systems to gain access to networks and compromise critical infrastructure. These attacks have been successful thanks to vulnerabilities and issues with authentication and server configurations. In fact, these attacks have not only been distressingly successful but are diversifying, too. Malware strains targeting Linux-based platforms have been increasing in categories such as trojans and ransomware since 2020.

Types of Linux malware attacks to watch for

As more organizations migrate to cloud-hosted environments that use Linux to operate, it’s likely that Linux malware attacks will continue to surge. As code uniqueness found in Linux-targeting malware strains continues to increase, it’s essential that organizations understand which attacks to look out for and how best to defend against them.

To that end, let’s look at some of the most common types of Linux malware.

Malware targeting VM images

Ransomware gangs have recently begun to sniff out Linux-based environments vulnerable to attacks. And while many malware samples aren’t exactly impressive in quality, dangerous groups such as Hive, Conti, and others are actively improving the quality of their malware.

Ransomware that compromises cloud-hosted environments is typically planned out thoroughly, and skilled threat actors will attempt to ultimately compromise an environment before encrypting compromised files.

Ransomware that compromises cloud-hosted environments is typically planned out thoroughly, and skilled threat actors will attempt to completely compromise an environment before encrypting compromised files. In particular, cybercriminals now seem interested in targeting virtual machine images that are used for workloads. This interest indicates that threat actors are on the prowl for precious resources hosted in cloud environments in order to inflict as much damage as possible.

Certain platforms can provide Linux workloads running in both cloud-based and on-premises environments with defenses against malware attacks. Some of these platforms now use machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide organizations with the necessary context and visibility to identify malware attacks on their workloads — the number of platforms that use machine learning to do this is likely to increase in light of the fact that the market for machine learning’s CAGR is expected to reach nearly 39% between 2022 and 2029.

Illustration of cryptojacking

Cryptojacking

Among Linux-targeted malware attacks, cryptojacking is one of the most pervasive. Cybercriminals stand to make quite a bit of money from cryptojacking — if successful, they’re able to generate cryptocurrency by using their malware’s computational resources.

Cryptojacking caught the public eye in 2018 after Tesla’s public cloud suffered an attack. Hackers compromised the company’s Kubernetes console due to a lack of password protection and, from there, gained access to sensitive data.

Gangs that use cryptojacking malware will often target victims with the help of default password lists or exploits that compromise poorly secured systems that have been unintentionally misconfigured. Once threat actors have successfully installed and executed their malware, they can sit back and watch as cryptocurrency is mined for them.

Unfortunately for device owners, cryptojacking malware often goes unnoticed since it’s designed to mine for cryptocurrency in the background — they may only notice that their device is suddenly running more slowly. Organizations can keep an eye out for signs such as a sudden surge in their device’s CPU usage and device overheating. Antivirus software can keep malicious crypto manners from running their malware and will make it easier to detect attacks earlier on.

Security experts who keep an eye on nation-state organizations have been reporting that nation-state groups are doubling down on their attacks against Linux environments. The Russian-Ukraine war, in particular, appears to be contributing towards an uptick in Linux-targeted malware.

Media reports have, in the past, pointed to Russia as the culprit behind cyberattacks in the wake of its Crimea invasion, as well as more recent attacks in Ukraine. These attacks were reportedly carried out with the intent of shaking up communications, and Russian state-sponsored gangs of cybercriminals continue to stoke the anxieties of Western governments.

Companies that have been diligently monitoring the Russia-Ukraine war have reported instances of Solaris and Linux worms using the Secure Shell Protocol as well as compromised access credentials in order to spread rapidly. These attacks are carried out with the obvious intent to destroy sensitive information held within file systems and databases.

Fileless attacks

Security researchers have pointed to groups of cybercriminals using the open-source, Golang-written Ezuri tool to encrypt malicious code. Once it’s been decrypted, the malicious code leaves no traces on the disk since it is executed from memory, thereby making it nearly impossible for antivirus software to detect. The group mainly associated with this file-less attack technique is called TeamTNT, which attacks improperly configured Docker-based systems to install crypto miners and DDoS bots.

How to avoid being targeted by malware

To protect against Linux-targeted malware, developers and system administrators would do well to remember to avoid a certain “economy of attention”: they should avoid racing against time whenever possible and cultivate an environment that cautions against blind trust in things such as community- sourced code.

Cybercriminals have all the time in the world to pounce on this “economy of attention,” and they are patient enough to wait for something like a developer mistakenly leaving a container deployment vulnerable to the public that can be used as a spearhead for other attacks.

It’s also important that organizations pay particular attention to security group settings and firewalls that their Linux servers use, lest they invite external access to applications that are deployed on their servers. Linux-targeted malware does best in an environment of servers and consumer devices, specialized operating systems, and virtual environments; take great care to invest in thoughtful and thoroughly planned security measures that protect these things.


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wpadmin January 5, 2023 0 Comments

Over 50% of new startups don’t use .COM domains

If you founded a startup before 2006, odds are you’d pick a .com domain for your website. That’s what Y Combinator (YC)-backed startups did. From their first two years of investment — including apps like Wufoo, Scribd, and Reddit — every startup YC invested in used a .com.

Then, slowly, other top-level domains (TLDs) started showing up. These include .fm for podcast startups, .tv for video-focused teams, .io for its geeky reference to input/output, and .co, likely for its similarity to .com.

At first, these other domains were supplementary, with .com being everyone’s first choice. You’d add extra words to get a .com that worked with your brand, as Dropbox did with their early getdropbox.com domain. You’d only look at other TLDs if your .com wasn’t available and you couldn’t or didn’t want to pay premium prices to purchase it from the current registrant.

During the first five years of YC investment, from 2005 to 2009, only five out of 145 startups used something other than a .com.

And then everything changed.

Here comes every TLD

YC startup TLDs 2005-2022

The first fun, unique TLDs weren’t intended as such. They were region-specific domains, such as .tv, run by the Polynesian island of Tuvalu. There was also .io, nominally reserved for the British Indian Ocean Territory, and .fm, which was the Federated States of Micronesia’s TLD. They worked surprisingly well for TV, data, and audio-related startups, but that was a happy coincidence.

Once ICANN relaxed the rules and let anyone propose a new TLD in 2012, the floodgates opened, and suddenly your domain could end up in seemingly anything. Companies registered their names as TLDs; Canon, the camera and printer company, registered .canon and uses it for international sites, for example, such as asia.canon.

Startups quickly joined the fray. It wasn’t that they started buying unique TLDs; a $185,000 non-refundable application fee plus $25k/year in ongoing fees to run a new TLD is a bit steep even for a venture-backed startup. But enough new TLDs popped up that 2013 was the last hurray for .com, with 95% of YC-backed startups choosing it. It was a steady decline from there.

In 2022, only 49% of YC-backed startups used a .com. The rest were split between 62 other TLDs, including .app, .ai, .dev, .tech, .xyz, and more.

Part of the problem is that all the “good” .com’s seem to be taken. Over two and a half decades of being the most popular TLD means almost every dictionary word — and plenty of fake words besides — have already been registered. Maybe they’re for sale, but for a startup, your scarce funds are often better used to hire staff and invest in R&D.

On the flip side, the new TLDs offer truly unique opportunities. If you’re building an app, registering a .app (as we did for Reproof.app) makes sense from a branding perspective. Bit.ly did even better, blending their TLD into their brand name. Notion started out with Notion.so, and it became enough of a part of their branding that they stuck with that as their primary domain, even after acquiring their .com domain.

The decreasing usage of .com for new sites holds up when you look at other startup communities. On Product Hunt, for example, of the new products shared over the past two years that hit their top thousand most popular list, 49% used a .com in 2021, while only 40% used a .com in 2022.

Or, on Hacker News, a startup-focused discussion board run by YC, you can look back at the most popular “Show HN” posts that showcased new products from the past month, year, and of all time. Of the hundred most popular sites shared there, ever, 51% used a .com, followed by 17% with a .io. But as you get closer to today, the numbers go down. Over the past year, only 44% of Show HN sites had a .com, while 8% used .app and .io, respectively. And over the past month, only 38% used a .com — with .app up to 11% and .io at 9%.

YC startup unique TLDs 2005-2022

Pour one out for .fm, which was the sole TLD other than .com used by YC startups in 2017, and rarely otherwise. Same for .ly, with a window of popularity in 2010 (prompted, perhaps, by Bit.ly’s popularity as the original default link shortener on Twitter) before being outshined by other TLDs.

The same goes for .tv, .bio, and .me, each with a brief period of popularity among startups, only to then be ignored in subsequent years.

Even the old stalwarts of .net and .org struggle to gain popularity among startups. The TLD .net was used by 3% of YC’s 2011 batch, while .org usage peaked at 5% in the 2014 batch before returning to 1% or less.

Some TLDs, though, have steadily grown their share of the startup market. The first was .io, starting with 2% of the startup share in 2018 and steadily rising to its 11% share in this year’s YC batch. Then .co started a bit later, with 2% in 2012, growing to 6% this year.

Then there are the newly popular TLDs. With OpenAI’s GPT-3 and DALL-E, among other tools powering the AI ​​market, it’s no surprise that .ai is growing fast, from a 1% share in 2014 to a 6% share today. The TLD .app, a newer TLD started in 2018 by Google, captured 1% that first year and this year, it was used by 3% of new startups. Another even newer star is .xyz, which also came up on Namecheap’s top ten new TLDs in 2020. It’s a TLD that could stand for anything and was first seen this year on YC’s startup list, with 3% of new startups using it. All three were also popular with sites on Product Hunt and Show HN, too.

Chicken holding TLDs

Which TLD should you choose?

If a .com is available for your company’s name, it’s hard to argue against grabbing it. After all, .com is still the most popular TLD; you can’t go wrong with it.

But if you have to add extra words to your company’s name to get the .com, it’s worth checking around to see if there’s a TLD that’s a better fit.

When we looked around for domains when starting Reproof, for example, we considered several options, including .us, .is, and .io — but .app felt like the best option. We’re building an app, and will tell people to “go download Reproof app.” The .app TLD felt natural. Spreadsheet app Equals co-founder Bobby Pinero told me he felt the same about using .app for his startup — something that was even easier since his co-founder already owned it. He reported “no hesitation in trying to build a multi-billion dollar business on the .app domain.”

If possible, get creative. Just as Rinkevicius and his team were building Resonance as a job board, and the .careers TLD seemed like the perfect match. “The complexity you need to add to your name to have a .com was not feasible, so we looked at .io and other modern startups, and they were mostly taken,” said Rinkevicius. Then they found .careers, perfect for a place where you’d discover your next career move, and resonance.careers was born.

Then once you’ve got your domain, it’s time to plan out your links and UX copy for pricing, help, about pages, and more — something that, surprisingly enough, is more standardized than TLDs today. 72% of startups put their Pricing page at domain.tld/pricing and 61% have a Contact page at domain.tld/contact — far more than the number of startups that use a .com today. You’re better off using whatever TLD you want and following best practices for the popular copy and pages on your site than you are buying a .com and putting your product details and help on non-standard pages.


Research Data: View the full TLD data in our original Google Sheets spreadsheet. YC data via YC Startup Directory and Akshay Bhalotia’s YC Company Scraper; Hacker News Trending data via Daniel Cook; Product Hunt data from Leaderboard for Product Hunt via Pesto.


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wpadmin January 3, 2023 0 Comments