Welcome to OpSec’s Blog

Insights on Anti-Counterfeiting
& Brand Protection Solutions


Faux Real: What Luxury Brands Need to Know

Posted by Melissa Palardy

Jun 25, 2014 9:07:00 AM


Counterfeit goods are on the rise in the luxury market, and can quickly become a brand’s worst nightmare if not dealt with properly. Counterfeit goods cost the US economy $225 billion each year. In 2013 alone, the US Department of Homeland Security confiscated over $1 billion in counterfeit handbags, belts, and wallets. Counterfeiting is certainly a huge economic problem, but it is a major problem for brand integrity as well.

Alessandra Vercelloni, Director of Brand Protection at OpSec Security, works with some of the world’s best known luxury brands to help protect them from counterfeits and diversion. We sat down with Alessandra for a Q&A session about the counterfeit luxury industry, and what measures brands might take to help secure their products.


Topics: Gray Market Diversion, Counterfeiting, Luxury Goods

Gifts for Dads and Grads: Most Counterfeited Tech Gadgets

Posted by Valerie Finn

Jun 13, 2014 3:48:00 PM


With Father's Day just a couple of days away and high school graduations quickly approaching, consumers are rushing to score the hottest technology gifts for dads and grads. Unfortunately, the latest trends in tech tend to fall victim to counterfeiters hoping to capitalize on the item's popularity. E-commerce sites like DHgate, EC21, Made-in-China and TradeKey often provide anonymous yet attractive venues for counterfeiters to sell these illicit goods in bulk at suspiciously low prices. OpSec conducted research across multiple trade boards to take a closer look at the tech items being counterfeited this season, and what consumers and brands can do to help protect themselves.


Topics: Counterfeiting, Consumer Electronics, How To Spot Fakes, Brand Protection

Supply Chain Security

Posted by Christopher Marti

May 30, 2014 9:17:00 AM


Traditional methods of supply chain security are best practices often worth pursuing, but they can be expensive and time consuming attempts at mitigating the risks introduced by contract manufacturing and licensed production. Screening, validating, and inspecting raw materials and finished goods help deter piracy and diversion, but do little to defend against infringement that occurs at nominated contract manufacturers or by authorized licensees. These practices also suffer at scale.


Topics: Counterfeiting, Piracy, Brand Protection, Supply Chain Tracking

Better Digital Solutions are Pushing the Boundaries for Brand Protection

Posted by Tom Taylor

Mar 10, 2014 2:59:00 PM


Have you noticed how pervasive electronics are in today’s automobiles?  Nearly every part that goes into a vehicle has a digital element as well as a mechanical one. Transmission, fuel line, and every other part of the engine and the cabin rely on digital innovation.  In fact, luxury cars are built with over 100 microprocessors. Digitalization allows car manufacturers to track a specific part to each car and to closely monitor performance and quality, one customer at a time. 


Topics: Gray Market Diversion, Counterfeiting, Product Authentication, Auto and Industrial, Mobile Authentication, Brand Protection, Supply Chain Tracking

An Open Door for Killer Counterfeits

Posted by Mark Turnage

Jan 15, 2014 1:30:00 PM


As the old adage says, “politics makes strange bedfellows”.  None stranger perhaps than last June when the state of Maine opened the door to well-funded and well-organized international criminals by legalizing online drug purchases from internet pharmacies by its citizens.  The intention of the law is to allow Maine’s inhabitants access to cheaper drugs abroad than are available here in the US.   Whatever the rationale, the predictable consequence of the law is to fully open the doors of commerce in Maine to online providers of counterfeit and substandard medicines.  Other states are watching the Maine model and may well follow suit, with potentially disastrous consequences for their citizens.


Topics: Pharmaceuticals

How Valuable Is Your Brand?

Posted by Lorri Veidenheimer

Dec 4, 2013 5:29:01 PM


It’s widely considered that a brand is the sum total of “all the thoughts and feelings” associated with that brand. Quantifying the value of those thoughts and feelings is virtually impossible.  Most companies will try to calculate their brand’s value taking into account market size, annual revenue, market share, profitability, brand awareness, brand loyalty, uniqueness and sustainability of products and services, quality of new products, investment in R&D, competitive landscape, and ability to raise prices, among other factors.


Topics: Counterfeiting, Online Brand Protection, Brand Protection

Enforcement Against Counterfeiters

Posted by Mark Turnage

Nov 14, 2013 2:16:52 PM


Emerging Transaction Card Technologies: EMV

Posted by Scott Magnacca

Oct 28, 2013 9:42:00 AM

The world of payments is becoming divided between the “haves” and “have-nots”.  Most payment schemes around the world, with the exception of the United States, use what is commonly referred to as “chip and pin” credit card transactions.  Microprocessor chips are embedded in the card and used to process a transaction.  Those in the US with the good fortune to travel to different countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, or Brazil see the delineation between “haves” and “have-nots” every day. Card brands such as Visa, MasterCard, and their issuers, have adopted the use of chips in cards, which supplant the magnetic stripe.


Topics: Transaction Cards

Suspicious Behavior Indicators to Identify Suspect Listings on E-Commerce Sites

Posted by Lorri Veidenheimer

Oct 2, 2013 12:33:00 PM


Counterfeiters are uncovering new tactics to profit off unsuspecting businesses and consumers every day. It’s critical for brands to stay one step ahead to ensure these dubious activities don’t tarnish brand reputation and in some cases harm consumers. Through ongoing research we have found that counterfeiters are increasing using online trading platforms to sell everyday health and beauty products, which may not only be counterfeit, but can also be substandard, expired, or contain dangerous chemicals. In fact, reports of lead, urine, antifreeze and other toxic materials have been found in imitation perfumes


Topics: Counterfeiting, Online Brand Protection, Health and Beauty, Consumer Goods, Brand Protection

10 Warning Signs Your Brand is at Risk

Posted by Lorri Veidenheimer

Sep 25, 2013 5:10:00 AM

Drowning_CopyrightIt is difficult to determine the full scale of your brand’s loss of value due to counterfeiting and market diversions prior to undertaking a thorough security solution evaluation, but there are a number of indicators that can help you gauge your vulnerability.

Any one of these ten factors may be sufficient to indicate that you are at risk.


Topics: Gray Market Diversion, Counterfeiting, Product Authentication, Online Brand Protection, Intellectual Property, Brand Protection


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