Confirm identity using evidence
Make sure to confirm the identity (an attribute or set of attributes that uniquely describe a subject within a given context) of the person making the request or claim using evidence. This control is supported by the National Identity Proofing Guidelines and the Trusted Digital Identity Framework.
Why this countermeasure matters
Whole-of-Government policies require a high level of confidence in the identity of a customer when providing government services and payments. Lack of identify confirmation for claims or requests can lead to fraudsters:
- impersonating customers or third parties to receive fraudulent payments or gain access to information
- providing false or misleading information or stolen evidence of identity to support a request or claim
- using false identities to receive fraudulent payments or gain access to information.
How to put this countermeasure in place
Some ways to implement this countermeasure include requiring:
- policies, rules, processes and systems to make sure only known, authorised people gain access to networks, systems and information
- all program applicants to provide certified copies of primary and secondary identification (passport, birth certificates, driver's licences) – verify these using Identity Matching Services (DVS and FVS)
- the use of myGovID to confirm an individual’s identity online
- the use of Relationship Authorisation Manager to confirm the identity of someone acting on behalf of a business online
- entry level checks to confirm the identity of staff and contractors
- service providers to provide evidence of the identity of all company directors.
How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness
Measure the effectiveness of this countermeasure by using the following methods:
- Review identity confirmation controls and policies to see if they conform to legislation and the National Identity Proofing Guidelines.
- Confirm the existence of reference and guidance material.
- Confirm processes are consistently applied both within channels and across channels.
- Check how evidence of identity is verified.
- Review a sample of completed claims to confirm correct processes were undertaken.
- Ask staff about the identity processes and systems to make sure they have a consistent and correct understanding.
- Undertake pressure testing or a process walk-through to confirm that someone cannot get around processes.
- Identify how the requirements are communicated to staff, customers and third parties.
- Review identified cases of fraud involving the use of a false or stolen identity.
This type of countermeasure is supported by:
Legislation and policy can help prevent, detect and respond to fraud, such as by outlining clear rules, regulations and criteria, allowing entities to collect, use and disclose information and allowing entities to enforce penalties and recover fraud losses.
Develop clear instructions and guidance for activities and processes, such as instructions for collecting the right information to verify eligibility or entitlements, procedures to help staff apply consistent and correct processes and guidance to help staff make correct and ethical decisions.
Collaborate with strategic partners such as other government entities, committees, working groups and taskforces. This allows you to share capability, information and intelligence and to prevent and disrupt fraud.
Provide help and support to customers, staff and third parties to help them follow correct processes and encourage them to comply with rules and processes and meet expectations.
Provide staff with adequate training to increase likelihood that correct and consistent processes and decisions will be applied.
Make sure requests or claims use a specific form, process or system for consistency.
Make sure forms or system controls require mandatory information to support claims or requests.
Set up system prompts and alerts to warn users when information is inconsistent or irregular, which either requires acceptance or denies further actions.
Escalate non-standard requests or claims for further review or scrutiny. Non-standard requests or claims might include those that are late, do not meet normal conditions, include evidence that is difficult to verify (such as from overseas) or are for amounts that are higher than normal.
Verify any requests or claim information you receive with an independent and credible source.
Automatically match data with another internal or external source to obtain or verify relevant details or supporting evidence. This countermeasure is supported by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's Guidelines on data matching in Australian government administration.
Create lists to quickly compare information to automate or require further actions.
Have processes in place to prevent, identify and correct duplicate records, identities, requests or claims.
Have processes in place to properly archive or dispose of old or unnecessary systems, assets, staff positions and accesses, client accounts and records.
Train and support staff to identify red flags to detect fraud, know what to do if they suspect fraud and know how to report it. Fraudsters can take advantage if staff and contractors are not aware of what constitutes fraud and corruption.
Conduct quality assurance activities to confirm that processes are being followed correctly and to a high standard.
Fraud detection software programs automatically analyse data to detect what is different from what is standard, normal or expected and may indicate fraud or corruption.