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Level 1 document security features key to fighting counterfeit cards

New overt, visible embedded security features rising to top for in-the-field document authentication

Chris Corum   ||   May 02, 2017  ||   ,

“The importance of Level 1 document security features cannot be understated … they are the front door locks in any design…” This comment from the UK National Document Fraud Unit succinctly states the importance of Level 1, overt security features to the overall documents security.

We classify embedded card security features – or document security features – into three levels: Level 1, Overt; Level 2, Covert; and Level 3, Forensic.

In a nutshell, Level 1 features are overt and visible to the naked eye. This makes them easy to authenticate by inspectors in the field. Level 2 features are covert, which means they cannot be seen by the naked eye and are only discernable by trained examiners using under magnification or via some other technique tool. Finally, Level 3 features are described as forensic in nature and require trained examiners and complex laboratory equipment for authentication.

ITW Security Division’s white paper on card security features, Level 1 Security – Long Live the King!, focuses on the importance of Level 1 overt features in document security.

An exploration of the specific embedded security features – from holograms and microtext to UV inks and nanotext – for each level is presented in the document. While each feature and each level is important and should be pursued, the crucial nature of solid Level 1 features emerges.

The emergence follows a series of interviews carried out by ITW with leading companies in the security market. These companies spanned 3 continents and included manufacturers, integrators and security printers. Of those interviewed, 100% reported that Level 1 features are in highest demand.

But just as these quickly visible features are becoming more necessary, fraudsters are getting better at counterfeiting traditional Level 1 options. Thus, there is an increasing need for new, advanced document security features that meet Level 1 criteria.

Learn more about document security features in general and explore new options for advanced Level 1 security features in this white paper. It is part of a series of resources on advanced card materials and embedded security features available from ITW. Check it out online.

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