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Set up automatic prompts and alerts

Type of countermeasure

This is a prevention countermeasure. Prevention countermeasures are the most common and cost effective way to stop fraud. They prevent or limit the size of the fraud risk by reducing the likelihood and consequences of fraud.

decorative  prevention countermeasures


Set up system prompts and alerts to warn users when information is inconsistent or irregular, which either requires acceptance or denies further actions.

Why this countermeasure matters

A lack of automatic prompts and alerts can lead to:

  • fraudsters feeling more confident their actions will not be detected
  • individuals deliberately or accidently not disclosing information that would affect entitlements
  • individuals deliberately or accidently providing false information or evidence to support a request or claim
  • insiders deliberately or accidently accessing information or systems they should not be accessing.

How to put this countermeasure in place

Some ways to implement this countermeasure include setting up prompts and alerts like:

  • informing users or claimants up front about their obligations
  • alerting the user when the cheapest available fare is not selected
  • prompting the applicant to provide the correct information
  • warning staff if inconsistent or erroneous information is recorded.

How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness

Measure the effectiveness of this countermeasure by using the following methods:

  • Confirm the existence of prompts and alerts.
  • Review the type of prompts and alerts that exist.
  • Confirm that prompts and alerts are consistently applied.
  • Undertake pressure testing or a process walk-through to confirm that prompts and alerts exist.
  • Review reports to identify the number of incorrect actions completed despite prompts and alerts.
  • Analyse behavioural changes caused by prompts and alerts, such as claims or requests abandoned following the prompt or alert.
  • Review historical data to measure if the introduction of prompts and alerts improved compliance.
  • Consult system users about the prompts or alerts to discover if they notice them.
  • Consult behavioural insights experts on the prompts and alerts to find out if they influence behaviour and deter fraud.

Related countermeasures

This type of countermeasure is supported by:

Limit and control functionality within systems with user permissions. Assign permissions to users based on specific business needs, such as making high-risk functions limited to specialised users. The Protective Security Policy Framework sets out the government protective security policies that support this countermeasure.

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.

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.

Separate duties by allocating tasks and associated privileges for a business process to multiple staff. This is very important in areas such as payroll, finance, procurement, contract management and human resources. Systems help to enforce the strong separation of duties. This is also known as segregation of duties.

Limit and monitor privileged system accesses (those that allow staff, contractors and providers to perform special functions or override system and application controls). The Protective Security Policy Framework outlines the government protective security requirements to safeguard information from cyber threats, including to restrict administrative privileges.

Conduct system testing to identify vulnerabilities prior to release. Untested systems can allow vulnerabilities to be released into production environments.

Related Fraudster Personas

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