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In recent years, an increasing number of chip developers have moved to the cloud for some or all of their design and verification work. Yet, hesitancy in the industry regarding the safety of confidential data and IP in the cloud still persists. To better understand the benefits of transitioning to the cloud, you must decipher one essential question: How does cloud security work?

Cloud security refers to the policies, technologies, and applications dedicated to securing cloud computing systems. The goal of cloud security is to keep data private and secure across online-based infrastructure, applications, and platforms. 

Of course, security risks can occur anywhere. These risks include data breaches, account hijacking, unauthorized access, internal users with too much access, or malicious attacks on cloud services. Yet, cloud security strategies work to reduce these risks by protecting data, managing user authentication and access, and keeping services running regardless of the threat.

How Does Cloud Security Work? A Shared Responsibility Model

Cloud providers have developed a shared responsibility model to ensure they address security  across infrastructure and locations. 

Understanding where your provider's responsibility ends and where yours begins is key to a successful cloud security implementation. The cloud customer is always responsible for the security of data, devices, and accounts. The cloud provider is always responsible for the physical hosts, network, and data center.

A shared responsibility model can differ, however, depending on whether you're using infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), or software-as-a-service (SaaS).



With IaaS, the customer is responsible for the security of the identity and directory infrastructure, applications, network controls, and operating system.



With PaaS, the cloud provider is responsible for the operating system's security.The provider shares responsibility with the customer for the security of network controls, applications, and identity and directory infrastructure.



With SaaS, the cloud provider is responsible for the security of the operating system, network controls, and applications. The provider and the customer share responsibility for identity and directory infrastructure security.

It is up to cloud customers to ensure their side of the shared responsibility model stays secure. Unfortunately, Gartner estimates that 99% of cloud security failures are the customer’s fault. So, you will need to ensure that you are employing the best security technologies and practices when you develop chips in the cloud. 

Types of Cloud Computing | Synopsys Cloud

Security Technology Best Practices

There are several technologies and best practices you can leverage to improve the security of your data and IP in the cloud:

  • Encryption scrambles data so that only authorized parties can read it. If hackers gain access to a company's cloud and find unencrypted data, they can leak the data, sell it, use it to carry out further attacks, etc. If the data is encrypted, the attacker will only find scrambled data that they cannot use unless they find the decryption key. 
  • Identity and access management reduces the chances of unauthorized users accessing internal assets and authorized users exceeding their permissions. IAM includes password management, multi-factor authentication, access controls, and other methods that ensure only authorized individuals can access sensitive data and systems.
  • Cloud firewalls provide a layer of protection around cloud assets. Traditional firewalls are hosted on-premises and protect the network perimeter. Cloud firewalls exist in the cloud and form a virtual firewall around cloud infrastructure. Cloud firewalls block DDoS attacks, malicious bot activity, and vulnerability exploits.
  • Configuration is another key factor in cloud security. Misconfigurations are one of the leading causes of cloud data breaches. If you can prevent them, your cloud security risks will reduce drastically. 
  • Data backup plans are essential to prevent data from getting lost or altered. Establishing a failover plan can prevent the interruption of business processes if one cloud service fails. You should test these plans regularly to ensure they will work when you need them. 
  • Employee education is crucial, as many data breaches occur because someone has fallen for a phishing scam, unknowingly installed malware, used a vulnerable device, or reused the same password. You can reduce the risk of these occurrences in the cloud by educating your employees on security best practices. 

Cloud Security and Chip Design

Even with the significant improvements cloud providers have made in security, some hesitancy remains among startups and chip designers when it comes to developing chips in the cloud.

The bottom line is that cloud-based chip design and verification can’t succeed without robust security. Chip designers must therefore incorporate security into the design process to ensure chip development lifecycle, infrastructure, and platforms are protected.

It is essential to scan the code for security vulnerabilities throughout the chip development lifecycle. It is recommended to scan code and libraries for security vulnerabilities prior to uploading to Synopsys Cloud; you may use Synopsys security tools for this purpose.

Companies should control and secure chip design and IP access with multi-factor authentication. It is also beneficial to establish different levels of data classification with associated access permissions. Companies should protect virtual machines and containers and monitor critical vulnerabilities.

Synopsys Cloud as Security Differentiator

Synopsys Cloud provides a range of design and verification solutions in the cloud all of which we back by our security commitment. We provide comprehensive cloud security for our cloud-optimized EDA and IP solutions as customers migrate their applications to the cloud.

Our innovative security technologies offer advanced vulnerability protection, such as our Black Duck and Coverity softwares. We build our products with security in mind by using the full suite of Synopsys security tools.These practices ensure a secure software development lifecycle, a culture of security, and world-class software assurance.


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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About The Author

Gurbir Singh is group director, Cloud Engineering, at Synopsys. He has a demonstrated history of leadership in the software industry. In his current role, he leads the development of the Synopsys Cloud product, which enables customers to do chip design on the cloud using EDA-as-a-Service (SaaS) as well as flexible pay-per-use models. Gurbir has run organizations to develop cloud SaaS products, machine learning applications, AI/ML platforms, enterprise web applications, and high-end customer applications. He is experienced in building world- class technology teams. Gurbir has a master’s degree in computer science, along with patents and contributions to publications. 

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