Raising the ‘authentication bar’ with multi-layered anti-counterfeiting solutions
Written on 20th May 2014, by Andrew Gilbert
Earlier this month a research team at MIT unveiled a new technology that could provide a powerful new tool in the fight against counterfeits. The new technology uses tiny nanoparticles that glow under near-infrared light. Using a technique called stop-flow lithography, the MIT team has shown how the particles could be used to uniquely barcode individual products.
It is a technology with great promise that could add new sophistication to anti-counterfeiting measures around the world.
Of course it is important to remember that no matter the advantages of any particular technology, there are no silver bullets in anti-counterfeiting. Any new technology has to be seen as another ‘layer’ of protection as part of multi-dimensional security measures – in particular when it comes to technologies that rely on adding anything to products.
While nanoparticles remain cutting edge today, the industry knows from long experience that in the long run criminals are determined enough and have the resources to effectively copy or work around technologies. It is for this reason that brand owners and governments are increasingly turning to technologies that don’t require the addition of special materials and are therefore less likely to be “found out” by resourceful bad guys.
The best protection for brands and manufacturers can only come from a blend of overt and covert technologies. Ultimately, it’s about making counterfeiters and diverters jump through as many hoops and spend as much time and resource trying to overcome authentication and tracking technologies as possible. If the anticipated gain is less than the expected pain, counterfeit criminals will find it far more difficult to succeed.