|Establishing physical and/or digital means to verify the authenticity of a product is a key aspect of product protection. The application of a so-called authentication feature to the product constitutes the first step, the detection and verification of the feature the second step. As of today, hundreds of overt and covert authentication features are available from a multitude of vendors.
Overt features are visible to the naked eye and usually intended for public use. The best known example are holograms. Covert features are designed to be invisible to the naked eye and intended for expert use. Covert features include (e.g.) invisible inks and taggants, cryptographic elements in printed text or artwork, and fingerprint-type features specific to the product itself or its packaging. Their detection and verification usually require inside knowledge and special tools.
A further important distinction of authentication features is digital vs. physical: Digital features are based on encryption technologies allowing (e.g.) to conceal data or information in an image (steganography / digital watermarks). Physical features are substances that are mixed into or applied to the product itself or its packaging. Both digital and physical features can be designed to provide a simple yes/no-type functionality or to carry more qualified information regarding the feature itself or even the product.
Authentication features vary widely in their level of sophistication and, thereby, their level of security. A measure for the level of security is the ease or difficulty to discern and replicate an authentication feature. A powerful authentication feature is difficult to detect and difficult or impossible to replicate without access to the original technology.
|The more time-consuming and costly the replication of an authentication feature becomes for a potential counterfeiter, the less attractive the targeted product becomes. As most counterfeiters strive to deceive the uninformed public rather than the expert, an effective anti-counterfeiting strategy will always be based on a specific combination (or “layering”) of overt, covert, digital and physical authentication features.
Vesdo successfully devised anti-counterfeitung strategies for multiple customers and supported the implementation and deployment of authentication processes and authentication features on a technical and organizational level. We understand the specific benefits and shortcomings of authentication features in a given application and will support you in defining and implementing effective and actionable protection layers for your brand.