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While the rest of the world embraced the cloud a long time ago, the chip design industry has been slow to make the jump. Though there are numerous benefits of adopting cloud technology, many semiconductor firms have serious concerns about cloud data and IP (intellectual property) security. They have valid reasons to be worried, and those reasons only grow with the use of third-party IP. If their IP gets leaked, they may lose their competitive advantage and suffer reputational damage; if they’re responsible for the leak of third-party IP, they could also face expensive and time-consuming lawsuits.

However, contrary to popular belief, the cloud isn’t inherently less secure than on-premises infrastructure. This blog will dispel common myths about cloud security and discuss a cloud adoption strategy to help you overcome security hurdles.

Dispelling Common Myths About Cloud Security

The public cloud feels much more public than on-premises infrastructure, so many organizations worry that moving to the cloud will make them the target of more cyberattacks. This concern is due to a belief in “security through obscurity,” which assumes they can avoid an attack by hiding their infrastructure from hackers.

However, this security methodology is outdated and no longer applies. If your firm has any internet presence – including a website or social media – cybercriminals can find you and target your network and systems, even if they’re entirely on-premises.

Another common myth is that public clouds are less secure because the cloud vendor isn’t as invested in protecting your data and IP as you are. However, cloud service providers can suffer huge monetary and reputational losses due to cyberattacks because they are contractually obligated to protect their customers' information. That means all the major cloud vendors have implemented robust security measures that often far exceed the capabilities of individual semiconductor firms.

The final myth is that moving to the cloud means you’ll give up all control over the security of your cloud resources. In fact, when an organization enters into a service contract with a cloud vendor, they agree to the “shared responsibility model.” That means the vendor takes responsibility for some security aspects, such as physically protecting their server infrastructure with security guards and biometric door locks. At the same time, the customer assumes responsibility for securing their data and the connections between the cloud and their on-premises network. 

That shared responsibility model means that you can build upon the security measures provided by your cloud vendor to ensure that your data and IP are safeguarded. The best way to approach your end of the shared responsibility model is to develop a cloud adoption strategy that incorporates security from the ground up.

A Cloud Adoption Strategy to Overcome Security Hurdles

Here are some tips for implementing a secure cloud adoption strategy.

  • Choose Trustworthy Vendors. One way to ensure a cloud vendor uses adequate security controls is to look for certifications from established cloud security frameworks.
  • Create Strong Data Governance Policies. The best practice is to use role-based access control (RBAC) to limit user permissions to the bare minimum required to perform their job function.
  • Implement Identity and Access Management. IAM solutions enforce data governance policies, verify users’ identities with multi-factor authentication (MFA), and prevent unauthorized access to cloud resources.
  • Encrypt Cloud Data. Data encryption uses advanced algorithms to encode data, so the information is unusable to anyone who doesn’t have a decryption key.
  • Use Centralized Cloud Monitoring. If you’re planning a hybrid cloud or multi-cloud deployment, you need a vendor-neutral, centralized monitoring solution that gives you visibility into your entire architecture from a single location.
  • Train Your People. Anyone using cloud resources needs training on how to access those applications and services securely, and everyone in the organization should be trained to avoid malware, phishing attempts, and other common issues.

A Cloud Adoption Strategy for Secure Chip Design

By understanding your role in the shared responsibility model and following security best practices, you can take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing for chip design while avoiding security pitfalls. For example, for cloud-based EDA (electronic design automation), you should choose a solution certified by cloud security frameworks, like Synopsys 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.


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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!

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