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Sergey Shvets
Written by
Sergii Shvets
Founder & CEO at Gepard
CONTENTS
eCommerce eCommerce security PIM PIM software product data product information management

PIM Solution Privacy & Security Challenges

7 min read
Published: April 27, 2023
Updated: March 18, 2024

PIM software privacy and security are some of the main concerns when choosing a PIM product information management software. What are the main privacy and security challenges of using PIM, and how to implement robust measures that can protect product information from misuse, theft, or unauthorized access? In this article, we collected the main data safety challenges and tips to solve them.

What Is PIM Privacy & Security?

PIM privacy and data security are related to the measures taken to safeguard the robustness and confidentiality of product information kept inside PIM software. These safety measures typically include a combination of different controls such as access control, encryption, backup and recovery, and conformity with data protection legislation.

PIM Privacy Challenges

  •  Collection and storage of personal data

Collecting and storing personal information in eCommerce PIM software has similar challenges as gathering and keeping such information in any other system or database. Since personal information can come from multiple sources, there arises a question about how accurate and complete is this information. Another part of this challenge includes integrating personal information across different other databases, e.g. CRM, MDM, DAM, and other systems which might be problematic for some PIMs.

  • Compliance with data protection regulations

First of all, this includes understanding personal information protection laws that work in the regions where the business operates (for example, it can be General Data Protection Regulations or more specific laws). It’s a complex field that requires a lot of financial and human resources. Another side of the compliance problem refers to consent management: the PIM system should get access from individuals for collecting and gathering their personal information, which can be an overwhelming task without automation and optimization.

Also, since product information management systems might use information from third-party providers, it becomes more difficult to ensure that all of these data suppliers also comply with privacy and information security policies.

  • Protecting data from unauthorized access

It’s quite challenging to safeguard the information from unauthorized access because of many reasons. One of them is the complexity of access control – since PIM product information management software can be retrieved by multiple users who have different levels of information access, and the amount of users and products constantly grows, it becomes more difficult to protect the information.

PIM software for manufacturers and retailers is designed to make product information easily accessible by its users, so balancing convenience and safety is another challenge to solve.

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PIM Security Challenges

  • Cybersecurity threats

Security cyber threats require the latest security measures and protocol updates, which can be challenging for PIM users. Cyber attacks can target sensitive information and disorder business operations, so it’s a challenge to find protection against malware, phishing, and SQL injection attacks.

In addition, there’s a chance of insider threats which are a noteworthy risk for product data security. According to Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigation Report, 82% of breaches entail the human element, together with data misuse, errors, and social attacks. Some people, such as malicious insiders, are employees who seek to harm the business data on purpose, meanwhile, the threat can also come from careless personnel who disregard the security measures and protocols.

  • Protection of sensitive business data

The safety of sensitive business information inside PIM can be at risk, considering the number of system users and the company’s stakeholders. Employees from different departments, such as IT, product development, marketing, and sales usually have access to PIM, which makes it difficult to ensure that only allowed users can access the system. The weakly secured information can be predisposed to credit cards frauds, and identity theft. Apart from external threats, sensitive business information can be intentionally or deliberately deleted, overwritten with the wrong versions, or even corrupted when transferred to the other company’s database or system.

  • Ensuring data integrity and accuracy

According to Experian Data Quality, inaccurate data directly affects 88% of businesses, with a 12% loss of income in general. Guaranteeing information integrity and accuracy is quite challenging inside PIM. Multiple sources of information and third-party interactions make it even harder. Add the manual data entry and distribution and dependency on the spreadsheets that many companies are using, and the chances of having wholesome product information will be even smaller. Lack of product data validation in PIM leads to costly data errors and poor data quality on both business websites and other sales channels.

  • API and third-party connections security

Security risks of APIs and third-party applications are some of the main concerns of PIM users. API misuse results in data breaches and losses and can not only cause business reputation and financial situation problems but also influence the end buyers. The information breach techniques are becoming more advanced, which requires companies to constantly enhance their security system as well.

Cyril Dorogan Gepard PIM E-Commerce Consultant

Best Practices For PIM Solutions Privacy And Security

1. Conducting regular risk assessments

To ensure you have PIM software with data security, it’s important to perform risk assessment both regularly and when your business goes through substantial changes (implementing new technology for business operation, acquisition, company merger, etc).

Follow the next steps to conduct a product information management risk assessment:

  • Identify the potential risks and evaluate their chances of happening (for example, data breach, data loss)
  • Develop a risk management plan to control the identified risks (for example, applying access controls to put a stop to unauthorized access to the PIM system).
  • Monitor your risk assessment effectiveness and performance.
  • Use the feedback of other stakeholders and your experience to enhance your risk management plan.

2. Implementing appropriate security measures

When choosing product data security measures, take into account the next factors:

  • Data sensitivity;
  • The potential effect of a data breach;
  • Cost of applying security measures;
  • The ease of use and compatibility with the existing databases and systems.

Among common measures, there are:

  • Access controls – for example, different product information management users and stakeholders
  • Should have the permissions restricted to the minimum to allow them to qualitatively perform their work;
  • Firewalls – protect your system against unauthorized access by blocking traffic from sanctioned sources;
  • Encryption – all information inside PIM should be encrypted with state-of-the-art encryption while unused and also for product data transfer security;
  • Systematic software updates and backups – protect your system against data loss and breaches, and make your information easily recoverable in case of any information failures.

3. Providing employee training and awareness programs

With employee training and awareness about data security and privacy, businesses can set up a safe environment. Here are a couple of topics that can be part of the training for PIM users:

  • Managing data requests and information sharing;
  • The management of personal data breaches and records;
  • Malware delivery methods and other threats to business (for example, suspicious files inside the system, unauthorized software installation, social engineering attacks, and other scams);
  • Data encryption, VPN usage, and password protection;
  • Information security and privacy regulations that work in the business operation areas.

When assembling a security program, it’s important to consider the security training needs of all the PIM users, depending on their role in the system and business overall.

4. Developing incident response plans

It’s important to come down with an incident response plan for product information management system users (usually it refers to the IT personnel to help them detect security incidents, adequately respond to them and make the system recover from those disturbances).

Here’s an example of a plan in case a business uses PIM software:

  • Identify the incident (data breach, cyber attack, identity theft, etc).
  • Hold in the incident (this means isolating the threatened systems, software, or hardware so you could prevent further damage).
  • Make an investigation to find out the damage caused and its extent.
  • Rectify the issue – fix any vulnerabilities that were exploited during the incident.
  • Notify the stakeholders and customers.
  • Review the case and enhance your plan if needed.

When preparing a plan, involve all the stakeholders, including your technology personnel, business managers, and legal representatives.

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PIM Solution Advantages As A Catalog Management Software

Ensuring a secure environment for safe product catalog management is one of the features that businesses should seek in their PIM solution. For example, with Gepard Catalog Management Module, you can gather product content from different suppliers and easily manage the catalog: enrich the product information, generating feeds, and manage multiple taxonomies.

With a user-friendly UI, you will tailor the product data to the requirements of any retailers or marketplaces, localize the product content and be compliant with the data regulations of the regions your business operates in.

With the help of automation, your prices and stock will be always accurate and updated and have a full range of product variants displayed on your digital shelf.

Product catalog management is the backbone of a successful eCommerce business. A well-organized, accurate, and up-to-date product catalog can not only enhance customer experience but also drive revenue growth and establish a brand reputation.
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PIM Privacy & Security FAQs

What personal data is collected and stored by PIM solutions?

Product information management systems can gather and keep such personal data as the names, contacts, addresses, and payment methods of the company’s points of sale. It might also contain such information as business revenues, insider information from suppliers about products, or digital assets related to products that are owned by a company or partners.

How do PIM solutions ensure compliance with data protection regulations?

Firstly, these solutions provide a single source of truth, to ensure that all the information is accurate and up-to-date – for this purpose, data validation can be used. Then, it helps businesses comply with data protection regulations, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and other data security laws, by checking the product information against all the laws in the areas where a business operates.

How can businesses protect sensitive data in their PIM systems?

Firstly, businesses have to apply policies and procedures to protect personal information from unaccredited access, and misuse of breaches. Also, PIM automation of business data-related processes can be used to minimize manual work with data and in such a way, secure sensitive information from internal threats.

Safeguard Your Data With PIM Automation

According to the Global Consumer State of Mind, 76% of users think companies have to take more action to protect their data online. At the same time, only 25% of them believe that businesses are responsible for their personal information. So how to ensure your customers’ data is secure and protect not only their personal information but also your eCommerce business?

Using secure and compliant Gepard PIM software is one of the answers. Having an automated centralized solution for storing and managing your product catalogs, meanwhile ensuring data accuracy and integrity – this is just some of the PIM benefits that add up to data safety. Book your free personalized demo and find out how to secure your product data with Gepard.

Protect Your eCommerce Business And Customer Data

Sergey Shvets
Written by Sergii Shvets
Founder & CEO at Gepard
IT entrepreneur with a deep technical background. Founder & CEO at Gepard, the product information management & delivery platform, helping to centralize diverse product data and deliver complying content to sales channels. Director Of Technology at Icecat, the global open catalog with more than 27K brands onboard. Sergii Shvets is an expert in the field of product data management and optimization, who has set up product content delivery across multiple platforms for a wide range of companies, including HP, MIGROS, and more.

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