Here at DSS, we are lucky to have David Wicker as our VP of Research and Development. He is responsible for product awareness and the development of solutions for clients’ documents, identification cards and brand packaging needs. As a member of the Wicker Group from 1991-1998, he was involved in licensing and implementation of newly patented print security technology to dozens of forms printers in numerous countries.
David brings over 24 years of experience in the commercial printing industry to his position and has developed trade techniques to provide user-friendly secure technologies, implemented through on-site technical training for sheet and web press operations around the country.
David sat down to provide us with a little insight on his accomplishments.
So Dave, tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I grew up in the Rochester area. I started working in the printing industry while still in high school and also worked for my father as he developed graphic arts products and security printing technology.
What inspired you to take an interest in the security industry?
My father, Ralph Wicker, was an inventor in the field of security print technology. He was named Inventor of the Year by NYS Eastern Patent Law Association in1995, but had been working on developing technologies since the 1970’s. I guess you could say that security printing is in my blood.
What would you say your biggest accomplishment in the security industry is?
I would say that it is two-fold, the first being the creator of pantograph safety paper that would become the first commercial product for a very early startup company – which later became DSS.
And more recently, being part of the team that evolved DSS’s authentication technologies from modern traditional print into mobile device authentication.
Can you tell us a little about your role with the Document Security Alliance?
As a board and committee member of the Document Security Alliance, my participation allows me to not only take part in roundtable discussions about new counterfeiting techniques and anti-counterfeiting technologies methods, but also allows me to interact with industry and government entities that are dealing with all types of falsification, alteration and duplication of all forms of intrinsic objects.
You are also regularly asked to speak at local colleges, what is that like?
Being able to participate in document forensic seminars at local colleges and government venues is a way for me to share my knowledge with students and professionals about the growing issues in, not only documents, but all types of media. I also speak about how to utilize the available technology solutions to address evolving threats and how the field of anti-counterfeiting is in need of a technologically superior future workforce.
Speaking of evolving threats, how would you say counterfeiting has evolved over the years?
Counterfeiting started solely as a currency problem early in this country’s history with highly skilled professionals and expensive equipment, evolving into today’s digital threat, which presents greater challenges to brand web properties and packaged goods. As the proliferation of modern desktop publishing devices became available to the counterfeiter, visual duplication of documents and labels is as easy as pushing a button.
This is the reason we have developed our AuthentiGuard smartphone authentication technology as a way to easily tell the difference between a genuine image and a counterfeit, or a genuine website or a fake.
How do you feel companies can best combat the threat?
To start, the best way is to educate themselves about the manufacture of their counterfeited products, the point of entrance into the supply chain and the new technologies available. By evolving their trusted anti-fraud technologies as the threats increase and not disregarding the older counterfeiting techniques. I think that the use of layered materials technology in combination with mobile authentication via ever-present smartphones will continue to help the brand owner get to the source of counterfeit manufacturing sites and their supply sources.
For more information on how brand owners and consumers alike can curb the issue of counterfeit websites and product, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com