Avast at RSA: What an amazing week | Avast

Charlotte Empey, 24 April 2018

Here’s our recap from a week of cybersecurity happenings at this year’s RSA.


This year’s RSA Conference drew attendees from all over the world to San Francisco’s Moscone Center last week to learn the latest on cyberthreats, vulnerabilities, and security products. The event consisted of more than 550 sessions, which covered everything from General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Each year, we see trends rise to popularity within the security community. This year included discussions on ransomware, GDPR, blockchain, Equifax, WannaCry, Bitcoin, and machine learning. Security vendors featured the latest technology in demonstrations ranging from virtual reality games to cryptomining challenges, while market leaders delivered their messages on everything from integrated cloud solutions to compliance consulting.

Here are some of the other notable highlights from last week’s RSA:

Even security conference organizers are not immune to vulnerabilities

During the conference, a security researcher on Twitter discovered a flaw in the 2018 RSA Conference app that exposed conference attendee names. The database was discoverable via an unsecured API that could be accessed through the app. The RSA conference Twitter handle confirmed the issue, stating that 114 attendees had their first and last names leaked from the mobile app.

Avast joins Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco, and others in Cybersecurity Tech Accord

On Tuesday, Avast joined Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco, and thirty other tech giants in what is being consiered a “Digital Geneva Convention.” The companies have formed an alliance called the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which dedicates itself to the following four principles:

  • Protecting their users and customers from cyberattacks
  • Opposing all cyberattacks on innocent civilians and enterprises
  • Empowering users, customers, and developers to strengthen cybersecurity protection
  • Partnering with each other and likeminded groups to enhance cybersecurity

The accord, championed by Microsoft president Brad Smith, is a pledge of unity amongst all the signatories at a time when world governments are more frequently pressing for access to user data. “Cyberspace has become the new battlefield, and the tech sector has the first responsibility,” Smith said in a Tuesday RSAC keynote. “We are the first responders on this new battlefield, and it needs to be a shared responsibility with the industry and with customers around the world.”

Ondrej Vlcek speaks on Hackers & Threats

Addressing the Hackers & Threats core topic, our EVP and General Manager, Consumer presented a technical look inside the CCleaner digital supply chain attack. Watch his follow up interview with eWeek.com and you can read a recap of the session on Twitter.

Keynote emphasizes need for female engineers

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, one of the keynote speakers, stressed the need to attract and keep women in the talent pool of engineers. “If you talk to any business executive, you’ll tell me that your number-one problem is you can’t find enough engineers,” she said. “I believe the solution to this tech talent deficit is women.”

IoT Village 2018

In the IoT village, attendees got a live demonstration of how easy it is to hack into the world of IoT devices.

The Avast booth

If you attended, we hope you got a chance to stop by the Avast booth to see our live map of real-time cyberattacks happening around the globe.

We also gave attendees a shot at the cryptomining challenge, where two winners were each awarded a Samsung S9 Android phone.RSA-phone-winner-Avast

From all of us at Avast, it was an exciting conference, and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.

RSA-Avast-booth

How to select the best caching solution for WordPress

There is no denying that the existence of an appropriate website is justified primarily by its loading speed: the faster, the better. Forty-seven percent of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, which is quite a task to accomplish as a new website owner.

Interestingly, even a single second of delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, and Google’s algorithms favour fast-loading websites in the form of search engine rankings. With so much at stake with regard to your website’s loading time, the pain is real. So, how does one make sure that WordPress websites are fast to load?

Caching is an efficient solution

Caching serves the purpose of creating and keeping a static version of your website and serving it to a requesting visitor when they access your website for the second time or more. It enhances your site’s user experience by swiftly presenting the static version without any delay.

This delay, otherwise, is simply caused when a visitor is trying to access a website from their browser and all the website elements such as the posts, slider, headers, CSS files, JavaScript, images, videos, etc., take their own time to get downloaded on the browser. When caching is in place, your website is ever-ready to deliver a cached/static version – quickly.

If you are new to website creation, how do you implement Caching on your website? What are the ways and means? Are their tools that can help you do it?

To start, you must test your website for its speed monitoring using tools such as:

These tools are a great way to figure out anything that might not be going well on your website’s backend when it comes to its loading time and similar issues. Since WordPress websites have their own share of down time owing to a number of factors, you cannot always act laid back when it comes to the performance and WordPress security of your digital property. If you would like to learn about striking a balance with your WordPress site’s security apart from its performance, you can read more here.

Broadly divided into two, WordPress Caching can be determined as:

  1. Browser Caching: Reducing the load on the server is a great way of optimizing your website’s speed and that is what Browser Caching does. It reduces the number of requests per page, resulting in the superpower where your website loads faster.
  1. Server Caching: Used by websites that have spiked traffic rates, Server Caching is largely about when data is cached on the server itself, helping with the loading revisions.

The best plugins to incorporate caching onto your WordPress site

You can choose from the following list of plugins to manage caching on your WordPress website.

  1. WP Super Cache

Total number of downloads: 2+ million

One of the best caching plugins in the WordPress repository, WP Super Cache is a great cache management plugin. Generating static HTML files for your WordPress website, the plugin serves cached files in three ways, which are based on speed. It employs methods like Apache mod_rewrite and a modification of your .htaccess file to serve supercached static HTML files.

  1. W3 Total Cache

Total number of downloads: 1+ million

Highly recommended by web hosts and developers, this plugin has continued to reign the WordPress caching market for a number of years. By employing browser caching, it renders pages quickly, which results in reduced page load time, and further garners more page views and increased time on site.

A great plugin in itself, W3 Total Cache contributes to improvement in your site’s SEO, offers content delivery network (CDN) integration, and overall user-experience on the WordPress site.

  1. WP Fastest Cache

Total number of downloads: 600,000+

The plugin serves the usual caching functions, offers SSL and CDN support, allows Cache Timeout for specific pages, enable/disable cache option for mobile devices and for logged-in users. Available in over 18 languages, the plugin does not require the user to modify the .htacces file and is pretty simple to set up. However, it does not currently support WordPress Multisite, but it is hoped that the plugin developers are working towards introducing this. Also, their premium version has much more to offer.

  1. Cache Enabler

Total number of downloads: 40,000+

Working its way to improving the performance of your website, the Cache enabler plugin offers WordPress multisite support. Its disk cache engine is efficient and fast and the plugin can be easily setup. One of the unique features of this plugin is its ability to create two cached files: plain HTML one and gzipped (pre-compressed files). It also offers the features of clearing the cache in either a manual or an automated manner.

  1. Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization

Total number of downloads: 10,000+

A great speed optimization caching plugin by WPMU Dev, the Hummingbird plugin features file compression, minification and full-page, browser and Gravatar caching. It also provides performance reports for your WordPress site so that you can maintain its speed. Its scanning feature keeps a check on files that might be slowing your site and provides probable fixes.

NOTE: While caching is great, you will also need to implement other efforts if you really want to increase your website’s speed. Some of the things that you can easily do are:

  • Invest in a reliable web hosting service and go with a hosting plan that suits the size of your business website
  • Getting a CDN service is a great way to cater to your site visitors from various geographical locations without having them to wait up a bit too long for the server to fetch your site data
  • Declutter your website’s database, uninstall plugins and themes that you no longer need
  • Always use a WordPress theme that has been optimized for speed.

Conclusions

Website speed matters, and caching is one of the easiest ways out there to accomplish a fast loading site. Since your site’s speed has a direct relationship with user experience and the traffic it drives in, it follows that search engine optimization also slides in. Therefore, you must direct all your efforts into making sure that your website is capable of impressing its visitors with an unmatched speed.

Lucy Barret is an experienced Web Developer and passionate blogger, currently working at WPCodingDev. 

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The SEO Quick Fix: Competitor Keywords, Redirect Chains, and Duplicate Content, Oh My!

I have a eight-month-old baby. As a mom my time is at a premium, and I’ve come to appreciate functionalities I didn’t know existed in things I already pay for. My HBONow subscription has Game of Thrones AND Sesame Street? Fantastic! Overnight diapers can save me a trip to the tiny airplane bathroom on a quick flight? Sweet! Oxiclean keeps my towels fluffy and vanquishes baby poop stains? Flip my pancakes!

Moz Pro isn’t just a tool for link building, or keyword research, or on-page SEO, or crawling your site. It does all those things and a little bit more, simplifying your SEO work and saving time. And if you’ve run into an SEO task you’re not sure how to tackle, it’s possible that a tool you need is right here just waiting to be found! It’s in this spirit that we’ve revived our SEO Quick Fix videos. These 2–3 minute Mozzer-led tutorials are meant to help you get the most out of our tools, and offer simple solutions to common SEO problems.

Take Moz Pro for a spin!

Today we’ll focus on a few Keyword Explorer and Site Crawl tips. I hope these knowledge nuggets bring you the joy I experienced the moment I realized my son doesn’t care whether I read him The Name of the Wind or Goodnight Moon.

Let’s dive in!

Fix #1 – Keyword Explorer: Finding keyword suggestions that are questions

Search queries all have intent (“when to give my baby water” was a hot Google search at my house recently). Here’s the good news: Research shows that if you’re already ranking in the top ten positions, providing the best answers to specific questions can earn you a coveted Featured Snippet!

Featured snippet example

In this video, April from our Customer Success Team will show you how to pull a list of keyword phrases that cover the who, what, where, when, why, and how of all the related topics for keywords you’re already ranking for. Here’s the rub. Different questions call for different Featured Snippet formats. For example, “how” and “have” questions tend to result in list-based snippets, while “which” questions often result in tables. When you’re crafting your content, be mindful of the type of question you’re targeting and format accordingly.

Looking for more resources? Once you’ve got your list, check out AJ Ghergich’s article on the Moz Blog for some in-depth insight on formatting and optimizing your snippets. High five!


Fix #2 – Site Crawl: Optimize the content on your site

Sometimes if I find a really good pair of pants, I buy two (I mean, it’s really hard to find good pants). In this case duplicates are good, but the rules of pants don’t always apply to content. Chiaryn is here to teach you how to use Site Crawl to identify duplicate content and titles, and uncover opportunities to help customers and bots find more relevant content on your site.

When reviewing your duplicate content, keep a few things in mind:

  • Does this page provide value to visitors?
  • Title tags are meant to give searchers a taste of what your content is about, and meant to help bots understand and categorize your content. You want your title tags to be relevant and unique to your content.
  • If pages with different content have the same title tag, re-write your tags to make them more relevant to your page content. Use our Title Tag Preview tool to help out.
  • Thin content isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s still a good opportunity to make sure your page is performing as expected — and update it as necessary with meaningful content.
  • Check out Jo Cameron’s post about How to Turn Low-Value Content Into Neatly Organized Opportunities for more snazzy tips on duplicate content and Site Crawl!

Fix #3 – Keyword Explorer: Identify your competitors’ top keywords

Cozily nestled under a few clicks, Keyword Explorer holds the keys to a competitive research sweet spot. By isolating the ranking keywords you have in common with your competitors, you can pinpoint their weak spots and discover keywords that are low-hanging fruit — phrases you have the content and authority to rank for that, with a little attention, could do even better. In this video, Janisha shows you how targeting a competitor’s low-ranking keywords can earn you a top spot in the SERPS.

Finding competitors' keywords: A Venn diagram

Check out all that overlapped opportunity!

For a few more tips along this line, check out Hayley Sherman’s post, How to Use Keyword Explorer to Identify Competitive Keyword Opportunities.


Fix #4 – Site Crawl: Identify and fix redirect chains

Redirects are a handy way to get a visitor from a page they try to land on, to the page you want them to land on. Redirect chains, however, are redirects gone wrong. They look something like this: URL A redirects to URL B, URL B redirects to URL C… and so on and so forth.

These redirect chains can negatively impact your rankings, slow your site load times, and make it hard for crawlers to properly index your site.

Meghan from our Help team is here to show you how to find redirect chains, understand where they currently exist, and help you cut a few of those pesky middle redirects.

Looking for a few other redirect resources? I’ve got you covered:


Alright friends, that’s a wrap! Like the end of The Last Jedi, you might not be ready for this post to be over. Fear not! Our blog editor liked my jokes so much that she’s promised to harp on me to write more blog posts. So, I need your help! Find yourself facing an SEO snafu that doesn’t seem to have a straightforward fix? Let me know in the comments. I might know a Moz tool that can help, and you might inspire another Quick Fix post!

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If you’re still interested in checking out more solutions, here’s a list of some of my favorite resources:

  • The SEO Learning Center: If you need a refresher on SEO basics or need to do a gut-check, the Learning Center has your back.
  • Moz SEO Training: Whether you need to master your next skill or get your team ramped up on the basics, live training courses can help.
  • Our Next Level blog series, focused on helping you solve SEO problems with Moz Pro. We cover lots of topics:

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