Hewlett-Packard (HP) mobile authentication tool has been awarded a Records and Information Management Awareness (RIMA) Award which recognises information security as a critical aspect of business in Africa.
The award-winning technology uses a unique code on security labels to tell customers within seconds if ink and toner supplies are genuine HP products or illegal counterfeits.
This empowers HP customers to spot suspicious printing supplies, turning smart phones into crime fighting equipment and deterring criminal gangs.
Each code can be validated using a QR code reader downloaded as a smart phone ‘app’ or entered into the HP Mobile Authentication website. An invalid response indicates that the product may not be genuine and automatically gives the user instructions on what to do next.
Responding to the award, Rita Amuchienwa, the Supplies Country Manager, Printing & Personal Systems, English West Africa, said the HP Anti-counterfeiting Programme works hard to protect partners and customers by making it difficult to produce, distribute and sell counterfeits.
“This recent innovation in labels and packaging, is an example of HP using technology to stay one step ahead of fraudsters, especially in Nigeria where counterfeiting is a serious issue.
“We are honoured that this RIMA award recognises our efforts in this area and celebrates the innovation and authenticity which is integral to our brand and products,”Amuchienwa stated.
Oyewole Oyedokun, the President, RIMA, explained that the Records and Information Management Awareness Foundation created the awards to promote the proper management and security of records and information.
“We are delighted to name HP the winner of the Mobile Information Management category for its vision in creating a technology which uses information and software to protect businesses from illegal counterfeiting.” he said.
In HP’s fiscal year 2012, 1.3 million illicit items were confiscated by law enforcers in the Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa regions, supported by HP’s investigations teams.
These illegal counterfeit goods are manufactured by criminal gangs and investigation and prevention of this issue takes up the valuable time of government officials.
Counterfeiting is an important issue in Nigeria where fraudsters trick consumers and local businesses into buying sub-standard print supplies using unknown chemicals.
According to research conducted by Forrester in 2012, 50 per cent of respondents in Nigeria said they had either been offered or purchased counterfeit. These comprises the highest number of organisations interviewed in Africa.