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Mr. Julian Zhu, Member of HKCNSA Cybersecurity Evaluation Committee: The April issue of the Consumer Council focuses on the comparison of cybersecurity software

Recently, the release of the 570th issue of the monthly magazine by the Hong Kong Consumer Council has attracted widespread attention and discussion in the industry, particularly focusing on the comparative results of desktop cybersecurity software. The Cybersecurity Evaluation Committee of the Hong Kong China Network Security Association (HKCNSA) believes that the frequent occurrence of cybersecurity incidents highlights the importance of strengthening network security protection. In response, Mr. Julian Zhu, a representative of the committee, shared recommendations for consumers and businesses when choosing suitable cybersecurity solutions.

Recently, Union Hospital in Hong Kong suffered a severe cyber-attack, with its computer systems maliciously infiltrated by hackers, rendering the systems unable to function properly. This incident forced hospital staff to manually handle laboratory reports and blood matching, raising concerns among medical professionals about potential error risks. It was reported that hackers demanded a ransom of up to $10 million from the hospital, which was not paid. The Department of Health has requested the hospital to submit a detailed report within the deadline to further understand the course and impact of this attack. Further investigation revealed that the cyber-attack Union Hospital was caused by the notorious "LockBit" ransomware. LockBit ransomware encrypts victims' files and demands payment, posing a serious threat to various organizations globally. In some cases, hackers even provide machine blueprints and documents to prove that they have successfully infiltrated the target system.

The comparative results of cybersecurity software in the monthly release by the Hong Kong Consumer Council have drawn industry attention. Test results show that the free version of Bitdefender received a highly rated five-star overall performance. Particularly in functions such as "ransomware protection" and "phishing website interception," the performance of Bitdefender's free version even surpassed paid versions of well-known brands such as Sophos, Trend Micro, and Norton. The superior performance of free antivirus software compared to traditional paid software has prompted a reassessment of the potential of free cybersecurity solutions within the industry. Although the performance of Bitdefender's free version is impressive, consumers must also be aware of the limitations of free network security solutions. Compared to paid products, free solutions may have certain shortcomings in functionality, update frequency, and customer support. Therefore, when choosing cybersecurity software, businesses need to consider their specific security needs comprehensively and whether free solutions can meet these needs.


Julian believes that cybersecurity protection cannot be achieved solely through technical means. A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy should include multi-layered security measures such as regular employee training, data backup and recovery processes, and incident response plans. These measures collectively form a solid foundation for organizational cybersecurity protection. He urges all enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to attach great importance to cybersecurity issues and actively explore and utilize free cybersecurity solutions to enhance their security capabilities. At the same time, businesses should adopt a multi-layered cybersecurity approach, combining technical solutions with personnel training, data backup, and incident response plans to collectively build a stronger and more secure digital future.

Against the backdrop of increasingly severe network security situations, we should seize the opportunity to learn lessons from recent network security incidents and take proactive measures to enhance network security capabilities. By strengthening cooperation and communication, we can jointly address network security challenges and contribute to building a safer and more stable network environment. Next, the HKCNSA Cybersecurity Evaluation Committee will evaluate and verify vendors entering the Hong Kong market to help them improve the network security level of their products and services, ensuring compliance with local regulations and standards. At the same time, the committee will closely monitor the development trends of domestic and foreign network security technologies and adjust evaluation criteria and methods in a timely manner to address the constantly changing threats and challenges.


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