Michael Springer, Managing Director of Pitney Bowes South Africa, addresses how companies can keep high value documents and identities safe through pbSecure™ authentication.

Identity theft has become commonplace in a world that is driven by technology. Ensuring that items or documentation such as birth, death, marriage and tertiary education certificates, are only a few examples where authenticity is a growing problem.

Talented fraudsters continue to frustrate private and public sectors with their excellent copies of genuine documents. Finding a way of authenticating personal documentation has become an important goal to eliminate copycat records, said Springer.

Pitney Bowes is aware of the aggravation and problems, caused by fraudsters and has devised an encryption-rich hardware and software-based platform, known as pbSecure™, to counteract this problem.

pbSecure™  is based on the experience and expertise Pitney Bowes has gained for over a decade, in developing and refining technologies and solutions around the franking machine credit loading encrypting procedure. Our technical research and development team designed a system that allows the protection of physical or digital assets at the point of origin, said Springer.

By securing the asset in this manner, evidence is created by the originator of this asset. This allows one to ascertain whether a document has been tampered with, and also allows third parties to verify the genuineness of the asset, said Springer.

The pbSecure™ process has been designed for ease of use. The first step entails the creation of the document or product evidence. The data is sent to the CAM (small encrypting box) device, where it is secured. Once the CAM has encrypted the data, the unique secure barcode containing the encrypted data is generated and then printed on the document or applied on the product which requires authentication, said Springer.

One is then able to determine the authenticity of documents or products either online via the WEB or offline by using approved hand-held devices. This provides the ability to verify documents’ or products’ authenticity even where there is no internet connection.

In the offline mode, one uses a handheld scanner to read, decrypt and verify the pbSecure™ barcode. Online verification is provided by accessing the online (web-based) storage repository.

Smart phone verification involves the user downloading the pbSecure™ application on their smart phone, scanning the barcode, decrypt and extract the unique data which can then be verified and authenticated against the document’s or product’s unique details

Universities, colleges, government departments, grant paying agencies and other organisations are targeted by fraudsters; pbSecure™ is an excellent tool to detect fraud in a very simple and efficient way.

Apart from the fact that the system is extremely cost-effective and easy to use, it will help to give reassurance to the public that important documents can be relied on, concluded Springer.