The product authentication solution proposed is based on a technology that enables commodities, artefacts or such other products be verified and authenticated using Micro Database Less Encapsulation – MDLE. In essence, the item is marked with a 2D barcode that encapsulates a database record from the production database.
Two important and unique characteristics distinguish this solution namely:
- Every barcode generated is unique and carry all the data (content code)
- The database is not made available online, it is part of the production process
The only online component of the solution is the decryption server and the only data stored on the decryption server are the keys.
The data held in the MDLE bar codes is encrypted using Pure Human Randomisation (PHR) which results in the data being encrypted in a manner that traditional decryption techniques are not able to decrypt it.
The solution can be adapted and deployed to provide a customized solution to combat corruption and fraud. Depending on the article being protected – a box of tablets, a gem stone, etc – the solution can be designed and deployed to provide the appropriate business solution.
Each time such an MDLE bar code is scanned, the decryption server records significant data about the scanning event that can be used for further processing and deeper insight into the nature of the scanning event. Such additional data may include date, time, location, IMEI number of the scanning device, etc.
The nature of the solution is such that it is not an off-the-shelf one. Each project therefore requires some degree of software development. In the main, this will be a custom software module that is written to interpret the encrypted data contained in the MDLE barcode as well as any software that needs to be developed to integrate the solution to other applications to meet the business requirements of the solution.
Non Returning Nigerian (NRN) with NIN can digitize and be authenticated by a University for instance. This will allow any stakeholder to verify the certificate using our DTM Platform Interface. The NRN uses a mobile application to upload their certificate. The certificate image taken by the Camera must adhere to the quality parameters including Exposure, Sharpness, and Motion Blur etc.
The user will be intimated if the image does not conform / adhere to the set parameters and be advised to repeat the process again. The process is automatic and user friendly. Once completed, the process of uploading the certificate is redirected to the Payment gateway where the NRN is expected to pay the required amount electronically before the process of digitization is completed. Thereafter the certificates is authenticated by scanning the dedicated application (DTM).
The solution relies on applying an MDLE bar code to each pack of pharmaceutical product so that it can be authenticated and verified. The best place to do this is at the point of manufacture. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control – NAFDAC – has already done much of the ground work in facilitating this process.
Listed on the NAFDAC website are six approved pre-shipment inspection and testing agents for issuance of Clean Reports of Inspection and Analysis (CRIA) in India and China. All that is required is for these centres to accept to facilitate the inclusion of an MDLE bar code on the packaging. Currently, these packages carry an importers code that has been supplied by NAFDAC.
As far as locally manufactured drugs are concerned, these manufacturers would be required to use MDLE bar codes on their packaging. This can be facilitated by engaging with the local manufacturers directly.
Availability plays a critical role in making sure the entire project is a successful one. There are certain parts of the project to make sure that availability of the entire project is maintained. Blockchain network plays a special role in the entire project. The blockchain network has a central node in the central storage digital site. This co-ordinates with other nodes in the network of nodes which stay at various stakeholder notes including the Universities. This will make sure if a node at one university is down, the central node or any nearest node can be utilized to make sure the service is available. The DR setup can be arranged at an extra server license cost.
The project is being developed with User Experience (UX) in mind. User experience is the most critical component of the application. Precautions were taken to make sure that the user doesn’t feel hard to navigate to particular action. The development process involves multiple levels of feedback driven process which makes sure that the friction in the process is eliminated.
The process of authentication for administrators and users is very easy and is developed by the leaders in the balancing of User experience and Security authentication solutions. All the authentication and security solutions are built with User friendly methods. Proven methodologies were applied to make sure customers adopt to these authentication solutions. Users love when it’s easy to use and authenticate.
“ If the user doesn’t understand the product, the user won’t use the product ”
The whole project has an integral part of Security protocols and solutions to make sure that the documents and products when authenticated, are secure and are not counterfeited. The security component of the entire project revolves around 3 components of the project.
- Secure Development Life cycle
- Blockchain implementation
- Secure Authentication Implementation
The fundamentals of Security Confidentiality, Integrity and Authentication are guaranteed by the use of blockchain technology making counterfeiting impossible as blockchain is an immutable data structure. The blockchain, being a consortium permissible blockchain allows the flexibility to maintain security standards to make sure that no-one outside the stakeholder circle has access to the blockchain network. The data that is written onto the blockchain network are hashed to make sure in the worst case, no one can reverse the data to its original form. This ensures that the data which is stored into blockchain data store is completely safe. The technologies used to hash are SHA512 and SHA256. These are the highest Industry standards in hashing.
The authentication mechanisms are based on blockchain architecture as well. The authentication methods used have been carefully designed to ensure that no PII is stored inside the authentication provider database. Security standards like Content Security Policy, Secure socket layer and strong end to end encryption have been enforced by the authentication provider to make sure that the security standards are met to the Industry’s best. The Software development life cycle includes basic secure coding practices to make sure the software delivered meets minimum security requirements. Basic validations, sanitization methods and protection against attacks including some basic injection attacks.
The greatest obstacle for migrating many services online is the ability to secure the data and verify the identity of the users of that service. Currently, online authentication relies on a password or on rare occasions the use of dual factor authentication. The problem with these methods are that passwords are notoriously insecure and dual factor authentication generally relies.
Relies on sending a code over SMS or a third party service. A solution to this problem could be the blockchain.
Currently, the blockchain is used to handle the ledger for a $10 billion dollar currency. The same cryptographic principles would be applied to authentication. By distributing a ledger among all members of the network, blockchain authentication eliminates someone from maliciously altering the ledger. Every time a ‘transaction’ or block of data is added to the chain a majority of the network must verify its validity. This guarantees the integrity of the ledger. One could then use public key encryption, such as the extremely secure RSA encryption, to securely send their credentials. The recipient could then verify this against an entry in the immutable blockchain resulting in an incredibly secure and reliable way to handle verification of identity.