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Technology Today - WISeKeys NFC VaultIC Chips to Protect Vaccine Vials

Technology Today

WISeKey International Holding, a cybersecurity, IoT and AI platform company, has announced that is in discussions with several vaccine manufacturers interested to use the WISeKey NFC VaultIC Chips to protect their vaccine vials. VaultIC Chips allow vaccine manufactures to validate, authenticate and track shipments and give end-users the ability to verify the origin of vials.

The VaultIC NFC chips used to authenticate and protect vaccine vials, are tamper-resistant microprocessors built with firmware that enables a number of different cryptographic functions, including authentication. The solution is compatible with a wide variety of algorithms that meet the NIST standards, and supports secret keys and certificates with on-chip data storage capabilities. Other features include a hardware-based True Random Number Generator and a secure software environment that offers protected boot and firmware updates for IoT devices.

VaultIC also supports contactless access and contactless transactions through the use of NFC technology.

WISeKey NFC VaultIC tags can inserted on the vaccine packing boxes or trays that carry vaccine vials. Most vials used for vaccines are made of borosilicate glass, which was invented in 1897 by German chemist and glassmaker Friedrich Otto Schott. It is primarily composed of silica (80 percent) and boric oxide (10 percent), with a small amount of sodium oxide and aluminum oxide also included. This type of glass has remained popular because it is chemically inert.

The NFC VaultIC chips can be attached to the seals of the actual vaccine vials, making it possible to track shipments and verify their origins allowing reading in close proximity with standard NFC phones.

The World Health Organization’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had already  issued a warning about counterfeit COVID vaccines being sold on the dark web . This turn of events serves to remind the world about the dramatic impact of drug counterfeiting, a booming organized crime industry growing at the  staggering pace of 20% annually . Back in 2017, PwC (conservatively)  estimated th is black market was worth $200 billion. Currently, more than 10% of drugs sold worldwide are allegedly fake, and in some low-income countries more than 50% of drugs administered to patients are counterfeit; this is resulting in more than 1 million deaths annually, according to Interpol,  higher than deaths caused by suicide or illicit drug abuse.

WISeKey’s expertise in the design of NFC secure chips allied with its WISeAuthentic original platform for the identification, authentication, tracking and direct marketing of goods, provides customer-fit solutions for brand protection. Nevertheless, the historic lack of support of NFC tags by iPhones has limited the use of the application by WISeKey’s clients and their end-customers. Apple is now supporting NFC Forum NDEF tags, making WISeKey’s solutions instantly available to millions of users, who can now benefit from advanced security and protection against counterfeiting. 

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