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Cloud computing substantially influences the systems and networks of organizations around the world. Many features make cloud computing attractive, but these same features can occasionally conflict with traditional security measures. To ensure your systems stay secure when you move to the cloud, keep in mind certain cloud security standards and best practices. 

The most authoritative U.S. source for IT standards is the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). In its publication Guidelines on Security and Privacy in Public Cloud Computing, NIST establishes five guidelines for strong cloud security and privacy.

NIST Guidelines for Cloud Security Standards

1. Plan the security and privacy of your cloud computing solutions before implementing them.

Compared to traditional on-premises data centers, cloud computing is an infrastructure that anyone can access. Planning ensures that the computing environment is as safe and secure as possible. It also guarantees the environment complies with all relevant regulations and protects privacy. Additionally, planning ensures that you get the most out of your IT investment.

Before transferring data, applications, and other resources to the cloud, you should consider your security objectives carefully. It is essential for you to take a risk-based approach when evaluating security and privacy options and moving functions to the cloud.

A security and privacy plan should be part of your system lifecycle from the very beginning. In addition to being complex and expensive, security measures can be difficult to fix after cloud implementation, as you may already have exposed your organization to unnecessary risks.


2. Understand the cloud computing environment offered by the cloud provider.

Depending on your service model, both your organization and the cloud provider hold security and privacy responsibilities. This arrangement is called the shared responsibility model. It's crucial to understand your security responsibilities in the cloud. Make sure to verify the cloud provider’s assurances about security or privacy through an independent assessment whenever possible.

To assess a cloud provider's security and privacy assurances, you need to understand its policies, procedures, and technical controls. In addition, you should know how cloud services are provisioned as well as how they impact security and privacy. An analysis of a cloud's system architecture makes it easier for you to assess and manage risk more accurately. You can more easily mitigate risk by continually monitoring your security state with the proper techniques and procedures.


3. Verify the cloud computing solution satisfies your organization’s security and privacy requirements.

Many cloud providers exist with a multitude of services to choose from. Stay cautious when selecting and migrating data and applications to the cloud. Your decisions regarding services and service arrangements require you to weigh cost and productivity against risk and liability. If you take appropriate risk mitigation steps, you should be able to move a significant amount of your IT services to the cloud.


4. Ensure that the client-side computing environment meets your organization’s security and privacy requirements for cloud computing.

In cloud computing, both a server and a client are involved. It can be easy to overlook the latter when you are focused on the former. Using a cloud provider, as well as cloud-based applications that your company has developed, can place greater demands on the client, which can affect security and privacy.

Web browsers are crucial for client-side access to cloud computing services, but they are known for their security problems. Additionally, many browser add-ons won’t update automatically, so vulnerabilities are more likely to persist. You should review client security as part of your overall cloud computing security planning.


5. Maintain accountability over the privacy, data, and applications in the cloud.

To meet cloud security standards, you must put cloud computing security management and controls in place. Your security and privacy practices should include monitoring information system assets and assessing how policies, standards, procedures, controls, and guidelines are implemented to ensure that your data is confidential, secure, and available.

It's essential to collect and analyze data about your systems regularly and as often as needed to manage security and privacy risks. Keeping up with privacy and security controls, vulnerabilities, and threats is essential for risk management. You should continuously monitor your networks, information, and systems for threats and avoid or mitigate risks as circumstances change.


Synopsys Cloud Has You Covered

Cloud security standards are constantly evolving, but the best practices remain the same. With years of experience in security and compliance, Synopsys Cloud is an essential choice for chip developers.

Our cloud security guidance is based on rigorous research and cloud security standards such as NIST. We help you make effective, meaningful cloud decisions no matter where you are in your migration or application journey.

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!

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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