Securing the Most Valuable

Many times when we want to add security to an object, we label it. You might find a box of brownies in the break room with a sticky note saying “Stan’s Brownies”. A laptop might have a tamper-evident label detailing the company name, a part number and a date of service. One of a kind artwork, rare wines, and specialized pharmaceuticals are all candidates for a label that employs a much higher level of security.

In these cases, the brand owner has a low tolerance for counterfeiting and/or a high liability consequence. Adding a security label can help with authentication in addition to the obvious identification aspects.

Let’s consider building a series of security features in labels. Here are just a few options:

Void Security Label

• A basic label might begin with choosing a tamper evident label such as our #521 Silver “VOID” or #520 White “VOID” Polyesters. Printed with your organization’s name, a barcode and a human-readable associated value, this label would be ideal for an indoor application such as an office. If someone tries to remove the label, the word “VOID” remains on the surface in a repeated pattern. The label itself is rendered useless with clear areas appearing where the “VOID” printing was transferred to the surface.

• Another level of authentication might need to be addressed by adding a label at a point of origin. In this case, label duplication needs to be prohibited when a label identifies a valued item such as computer component. At Electronic Imaging Materials, a barcode can be generated by an encryption program with a starting value or seed known by the customer. The seed can vary as necessary making the labels even more difficult to replicate. When a component is checked for authenticity, it’s simply a matter of comparing the barcode with the expected value from the encryption program.

• Each of these labels can be significantly improved from the point of security by adding special ink that contains spliced and recombined plant DNA. This can be printed so that it is invisible to the human eye, yet easily identified under black light. A customer wishing to assure themselves of authentication can swab the label and send the swab in to a lab for definitive confirmation. Note: This type of plant DNA technology has recently been required by the Department of Defense for certain critical electronic components, ensuring that counterfeiting is not being done.

• Other authentication measures are possible creating a varying field for counterfeiters. Using label substrates such as our #330 Destructible Plastic that will chip if removal is attempted prevents moving the label to another object.

• A special red overlay to hinder photocopying can also be added to any of these materials in the security label matrix.

The whole concept of using security labels is to keep ahead of those who want to pilfer valuables. This may mean creating a strategy of ever-changing security devices and adding layers upon layers of preventive measures such as what we see in US paper currency or drivers’ licenses. If you are serious about deterring theft, contact us to discuss your label problem and we will be glad to work with you to come up with something unique to meet your security label needs.

Electronic Imaging Materials