Woolworths embraces social media

Supermarket chain allows Facebook to attract young workers

Getting on the social networking bandwagon was a long time coming for Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW), admits information security manager, Peter Cooper.

The retail giant didn't have a Twitter account until October this year and only recently started a Facebook fan page.

Speaking at the CeBIT IT security conference in Sydney, Cooper said the company's change in tack was prompted by concern over reaching Gen Y and Gen X.

“About six weeks ago we launched an internal social media guideline for staff," he said. "We've been using it informally for business for a long time but we're now considering it more broadly.

"We were concerned about the Gen Y and Gen X perception of Woolworths as an employer if they were not able to access the tools they use to keep in touch with their friends."

Cooper said the balance for Woolworths was making sure employees don’t spend all their time on Facebook.

“It’s a bit of a challenge but we are open to it,” he said.

Along with attracting future employees, the company is also using social media to inform consumers about store openings and weekly specials.

Though with the upsides, social media has its downsides, particularly around data breaches, Cooper says.

To address the risks, Woolworths has moved to make IT policies part of its induction process.

“We spread the message far and wide through different forms of media such as video messages that are delivered to stores," he said. "Every month Woolworths puts a new message up around IT security at our head office in New South Wales.

"I'm a great believer in delivering the message in person so I'm regularly tasked with talking about personal responsibility.”

Cooper said his team are all tasked with delivering the awareness message to different people.

“We're in front of people in our organisation once a month. We have some particular messages that we repeat but we also try to use case studies to reinforce things such as VirginBlue and NAB.”

According to Cooper, he picks out stories in the press that people relate to.

“It reinforces the security message and might be a call to action for some staff,” he said.

The move to social media follows an announcement in August that the company was embarking on an IT transformation.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags woolworthssocial media

More about ABCeBITFacebookNABWoolworths

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Hamish Barwick

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place