A support team is answering calls and providing well support. It would be conceivable for someone to impersonate or ask for something which should be authenticated first.

Which are the best methods to authenticate who they are over the phone?


To narrow it down, I have a website with a specific service. They need some support that will affect or modify this service and they need immediate support over the phone. I want to make it so someone can't impersonate another user.

I can collect basically any kind of information about the user. What type of information should I collect that would make it reasonably secure for us to take support calls from them. Like a secret question, phone number, address? I can add most anything, I would probably stop short of credit card information, but wouldn't be too unreasonable.

  • The general idea is for the user to supply info when they sign up that support asks for when the user calls in. What that is will vary greatly by service and user base. Can you narrow your question down or provide more details? – schroeder Aug 7 '15 at 21:02

As Schroeder explained, you'd get them to provide information when they first sign up that they have to match before you'll talk to them. I've worked in organization that require a minimum of two point of authentication, that's pretty standard. The points can be anything, it depends how secure/difficult you'd like to make it.

You can do the standard security question/answer method, but people have a tendancy to forget those I'd recommend:

  • ABN (Australian business number or your countries equivalent)
  • Companies domain
  • The price from their last bill
  • Companies client/service number

This information should be accessible by anyone from within the actual organization as well as your support team. Remember, someone determined could always impersonate the client, they could go so far as to get hired there for that specific purpose. Unlikely, but it does happen. Hope that helps.

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