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The importance of multi-layered security features for the public sector

Posted on 07/06/2022

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Global security print firm, Zunoma, is highlighting the importance of multi-layered overt and covert security features to help save money in the public sector, as figures have shown that the annual loss to the economy each year through counterfeiting and piracy is £9 billion in the UK alone.[1].

The United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention identified counterfeiting as the second largest source of criminal income worldwide, costing governments $89 billion globally [2]. As such, less public money is readily available to fund schools, hospitals and many other public services.

To mitigate the risk, it is vital that governments and the public sector have effective and secure anti-counterfeiting measures in place, and a multi-layered approach of both overt and covert security features is the most beneficial in tackling counterfeiting.

Overt security features are visible to the naked eye, for example holograms, foiling and colour-changing security inks. These features are used to authenticate products or documents and are easily identifiable.

Covert features are hidden security features that are undetectable to the naked eye and in many cases require training and expertise to identify. Although covert security offers the highest protection, only certain authoritative figures will be aware of its presence or how to spot these features. For example, rainbow fibres which can be found within bank notes, certificates, stamps and more, are invisible fibres that incorporate multiple fluorescent colours that are embedded into paper and are only viewable using specialist equipment.

With a combined multi-layered approach, these features offer the most protection on high-valued documents, making it as difficult as possible to duplicate. It provides the highest layer of security, that can help to improve user experience and consumer confidence.

The benefit of layered authentication allows instant verification and is a major security choice for currency. For example, in 2021 £2.7 million worth of counterfeit bank notes were successfully removed from circulation[3], which were easily detected due to low-quality reproductions with no security features.

Zunoma is committed to protecting data and preventing counterfeiting by using a range of modern technologies such as watermarks, taggant inks and camera readers, plus incorporate forensic features such as nano text, nano images, document DNA and substrate analysis to create bespoke, unique and secure documents.

Louis Bartholomew, Production Manager at Zunoma, said: “As one of the largest accredited security print organisations in the UK working closely with the public sector, we are dedicated to protecting critical data and documents by using a range of innovative and technological solutions, ensuring security measures are as reliable and secure as possible.”

Zunoma work with several FTSE 100 companies, governments and worldwide organisations across a wide range of sectors to provide a comprehensive range of products that combat forgery and counterfeiting risks.

To find out more on Zunoma’s verification services, please visit: https://www.zunoma.com/security-print-software/document-verification-tools/

And to find out more on Zunoma’s government services, please visit: https://www.zunoma.com/security-print-software/government-elections/


[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ipo-counterfeit-goods-research/ipo-counterfeit-goods-research

[2] https://ipo.blog.gov.uk/2021/01/27/the-value-of-ip-crime/

[3] https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/banknote

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