Multi-Cloud Security: Challenges & Best Practices

Wagner Nascimento

Sep 29, 2022 / 4 min read

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A multi-cloud environment allows you greater flexibility than you would find with one cloud platform. It helps manage your costs, avoid vendor lock-in, and improve your organization’s resiliency. 

Multi-cloud security requires careful planning and appropriate tools. The complexity of multi-cloud deployments has the potential to increase the attack surface as well as the risk of cyberattacks, overall posing several security challenges.

Understanding Multi-Cloud Security Challenges

Misconfigured Cloud Configurations or Architecture 

When companies migrate workloads to the cloud, they might face misconfigured security or privacy settings. Configuring cloud services can be complicated, and even the best network administrator can make mistakes. 


Access Control

User access control management becomes more challenging in multi-cloud environments. Cloud providers have built-in controls for managing roles, user authorization, and access privileges, but a multi-cloud security strategy requires you to manage multiple user access systems. Ensuring policies stay consistent across platforms is difficult without a centralized control system.


Patch Management

It is essential to update your systems to ensure you patch any known vulnerabilities. You also must ensure your workloads use the latest versions of any dependencies. Multi-cloud environments necessitate that you deal with specific vulnerabilities. They also require you to patch schedules, update each platform's procedures, and ensure all instances are up-to-date. This logistical challenge can cause some IT teams to develop bad habits if they are not vigilant. 



A common issue in cloud security is visibility, which complicates further with multi-cloud. Third-party cloud providers won’t allow you access to every layer of the cloud computing stack, meaning you might not know about all the security bugs. Some cloud providers use built-in security monitoring systems, but they still might not provide you with complete visibility or granular logging. Managing several built-in monitoring tools simultaneously can become challenging in a multi-cloud environment.


Data Governance

Today, most companies process so much data that data governance poses a massive challenge. When you use multi-cloud, this challenge increases exponentially. You will need a robust data governance strategy to ensure the applications, processes, and users can access the data while keeping it secure.


Shared Responsibility Model

In a shared responsibility model, you are responsible for certain aspects of cloud security, and your provider is responsible for others. The line can vary from provider to provider and service to service, so don't assume every platform in your multi-cloud environment is automatically secure.

Best Practices for Multi-Cloud Security

While there are numerous challenges, the right multi-cloud security strategy will protect your business and allow you to maximize the value of a multi-cloud environment. Below are some best practices to keep in mind when leveraging multi-cloud.


Automate Security with DevSecOps

On public clouds, automation of processes is common. This principle should extend to your security. Ensure every process on your cloud infrastructure takes security into account. You should automatically scan all new virtual machines or containers on the cloud for security.


Synchronize Policies

If you rely on multiple clouds for availability, be sure to use the same security settings across all your clouds. You can synchronize security policies and settings between providers using automated tools. These tools can create security policies that you can apply to all providers using generic definitions.


Tailor Policies to Services

Multi-cloud workloads and applications require specific security profiles and policies. You should base these policies on the workload's intended use, the data’s sensitivity, and the compliance requirements.


Consolidate Monitoring

Consolidate logs, alerts, and events from all cloud providers with a security monitoring strategy. Put automation in place triggered by alerts, and implement remediations without human intervention.


Cross-Cloud Compliance

Compliance certifications and features vary by the cloud platform. You might find yourself running different workloads with different compliance obligations on each cloud. Automate the auditing of compliance across clouds and generate reports showing violations.

The Security Advantage with Synopsys Cloud

Despite many cloud providers' improvements in security, startups and chip designers are still hesitant to develop chips in multi-cloud environments.

Without robust security, cloud-based chip design and verification can't succeed. Chip designers, therefore, need to integrate security into the design process to protect the chip development life cycle, infrastructure, and platforms.

Synopsys Cloud offers a variety of cloud-based chip design and verification solutions, all of which are backed by our commitment to security. Our cloud-optimized EDA and IP solutions provide comprehensive cloud security as customers migrate to the cloud.

Synopsys, EDA, and the Cloud

Synopsys is the industry’s largest provider of electronic design automation (EDA) technology used in the design and verification of semiconductor devices, or chips. With Synopsys Cloud, we’re taking EDA to new heights, combining the availability of advanced compute and storage infrastructure with unlimited access to EDA software licenses on-demand so you can focus on what you do best – designing chips, faster. Delivering cloud-native EDA tools and pre-optimized hardware platforms, an extremely flexible business model, and a modern customer experience, Synopsys has reimagined the future of chip design on the cloud, without disrupting proven workflows.


Take a Test Drive!

Synopsys technology drives innovations that change how people work and play using high-performance silicon chips. Let Synopsys power your innovation journey with cloud-based EDA tools. Sign up to try Synopsys Cloud for free!

About The Author

Wagner Nascimento is vice president and chief information security officer at Synopsys. As the CISO, Wagner is responsible for developing and implementing the Information Security Program for the enterprise . Wagner has over 20 years of experience in the cybersecurity space, leading security efforts in other larger organizations such as VISA, Cisco, and Albertsons. A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Wagner is adept in security architecture/analysis, cyber threat detection, risk management, incident response, and contingency planning. He has a B.S. in Information Technology from American Intercontinental University and an MBA (Finance, Strategic Management) from California State University, East Bay.

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