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The best practice adopted by the most mature leading brands is to adopt a multi-layered approach to anti-counterfeiting and illicit activity management based on prevention, monitoring & detection, and finally enforcement.

If we look at technologies and strategies available today, the question must be asked, “Is there a silver bullet solution” that meets the following requirements:

  1. Difficult (impossible) to copy/replicate.
  2. Able to be applied to product/packaging in high-volume production.
  3. Easily authenticatable by consumers at scale.

Many solutions meet one or even two of the requirements but there is no single technology based “Silver Bullet” that meets them all.

Let’s take a deeper look at each requirement and weigh the risks associated with each.


Defined as overt, covert, tamper proof & forensic based solutions that mark packaging/products in a unique manner that requires counterfeiters to create the same or similar markings which overtly may look the same.


  • Overt and tamper evident solutions rely on consumer’s judgement to determine authenticity. As many fake representations may look similar enough to the consumer, they are often judged “official or real”.
  • Covert and forensic solutions typically require specialized technologies to read authenticity – something consumers will not have. In other cases, the unique code/mark requires consumers to download a specialized app on their smartphone for verification resulting in a significant reduction in consumer participation and therefore little to no analytics value. The following table below shows the rate at which consumers abandon a transaction or process when required to download and install an app. Of particular interest, the younger the age demographic the higher the abandonment percentage.

Have you abandoned a transaction in the last year because you were required to install an app


Defined as the ability for the solution to be unobtrusive to existing production and logistics processes, equipment, systems and the overall manufacturing and supply chain environments.


  • There are a myriad of “Secure” specialized solutions that claim they cannot be copied; However, the technology that produces markings on the product/packaging is very difficult to apply during high volume print production or interferes with those processes rendering them useless in application.


Defined as the ability for consumers and stakeholders to easily participate in the authentication/verification process with the least number of steps. The value of technology solutions needs to be accessed based on HOW they can be verified and WHO can verify them.


  • If the solution is based on overt printing technologies with verification by consumers, i.e., holograms, then the strength of the protection must be questionable.
  • If the solution requires specialized equipment to verify it then the solution is only of value to field service agents/secret shoppers.
  • If the solution is intended to be verifiable by consumers using their smartphones to read “secure” markings, it needs to address the significant technology challenge of deployment across all mass market smartphone devices.

Since 2009, Micro Focus GPAS has become the global standard to solving counterfeit, grey market, and supply chain challenges surrounding the manufacture and distribution of finished goods. We understand the requirements and the associated risks and have developed one of the most comprehensive multi-layered and end-to-end services on the market today – based on the principles of prevention, monitoring, detection, and enforcement.

We work with brands to clearly understand the challenge(s) and use case(s) to apply the core principles of a successful brand protection strategy


  • Product Anti-Counterfeit Technology Adoption – The application of unique serialization of products based on overt and covert technologies.


  • Supply Chain Security Management – Traceability of products throughout the supply chain with real-time illicit activity monitoring and rich business intelligence.
  • Market Inspection – Brand agents testing products in the supply chain, customs, and in retail and eCommerce environments.


  • Illicit Activity Analytics – Capture Supply Chain and Consumer Engagement data and put them to work to unlock insights into types & location & extent of illicit activities in your supply chain and marketplace


  • Consumer Verification & Authentication – Unique serialization of Products that support Consumer Authentication via smartphone technology without the need for a specialized app download.
  • Inspector Enforcement – Inspectors focused on shutting down illicit players and recovering products working in conjunction with customs, trading standards & law agencies, using illicit activity business intelligence provided through GPAS.

In summary, why consider GPAS?

Global Presence and Capabilities – Micro Focus is one of the largest enterprise software companies in the world with annual revenue of $2.9 billion and 11,000 employees operating in 180 different countries.
Comprehensive Scalable Services –GPAS offers a range of services within one flexible and scalable cloud-based framework. Serialization; Overt/Covert protection; Traceability; Real-time Business Alerts and Intelligence; Data Analytics.
Mature Domain Experience – GPAS consultants have credible, demonstratable domain experience and expertise in the traceability and supply chain domain helping companies derive real business value from their investments.
Enterprise Service Level Agreement – GPAS provides guaranteed response times and global service availability. All aspects of Service Security are fully addressed referencing all applicable standards (ISO 27001, ISO/IEC 27018, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC 1&2) and Best Practices.
Robust Roadmap & Development Strategy – GPAS is both rich and innovative from an RD&I Perspective. Recognized – 2011 Wall Street Innovation Award; 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate; 2016 Ireland Research Award. GPAS is constantly evolving in support of emerging technologies (IOT, Blockchain, AI, etc.)