Addressing Cloud Security Challenges: Steps to Enhance Safety

Wagner Nascimento

Jul 31, 2022 / 5 min read

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In recent years, most businesses have adopted cloud computing to varying degrees. With cloud adoption comes the responsibility of protecting your organization's data and infrastructure from a variety of cloud security challenges.

This article discusses the main cloud security challenges you might face and the steps you can take to overcome them.

Top Cloud Security Challenges


Many cloud breaches occur because of misconfigured security settings. If you lack visibility and control over your cloud infrastructure, you might need to rely on the security controls from your cloud service provider (CSP). In such cases, you might leave your cloud-based resources exposed to a security misconfiguration due to your company’s unfamiliarity with cloud infrastructure and multi-cloud deployments. 


Data Protection

We often consider collaboration and data sharing to be cloud benefits, but both have the potential to become liabilities when protecting your sensitive data. Since the public cloud is accessible directly from the internet, it enables you to share data easily with other parties using direct email invitations or by sharing a link to the data. Companies that run their systems in the cloud can risk data loss if they fail to properly protect themselves.


Insufficient Identity and Access Controls 

It is common for companies to move data to the cloud without considering access and identity policies. But a lack of such policies can lead to other cloud security challenges. For example, an unauthorized user might seek access through a password spraying attack. In this instance, the attacker would use the same password on multiple accounts. Cloud apps and services are more likely to suffer from this security risk because hackers can log in from anywhere to carry out their attacks. 


Insecure Application Programming Interfaces

CSPs provide you with well-documented application programming interfaces (APIs) to increase flexibility for users. You might run into problems, however, if you don’t secure the interfaces for your cloud-based infrastructure. If you are not careful, attackers could use customer documentation to identify and exploit ways to steal confidential data from your cloud environment. 



Cybercriminals select targets based on expected profits. A lot of sensitive and valuable data is stored in public cloud infrastructure, which is directly accessible from the internet. Moreover, many companies use the cloud, so attackers can attack many times with a high chance of success. Consequently, cloud deployments are a common target for cyberattacks. 


Insider Threat

Every organization must deal with insider threats. Malicious insiders already have access to your network and sensitive resources. If you are unprepared, you will have difficulty detecting malicious insiders since most only expose themselves once they have already carried out their attacks. The insider threat can also come from employees who make mistakes, such as misconfiguring cloud servers, storing sensitive data on insecure devices and systems, and falling victim to phishing emails. 



If you have endpoint security software and client-side firewalls, your security teams might assume malware won't be an issue in the cloud. It is crucial, though, to have multiple layers of security to detect and stop malware in the cloud. When cloud malware infiltrates your system, it spreads quickly and can lead to even greater problems. When the malware executes, it can leak your confidential data or steal login credentials via keyloggers. Malware's damage will only worsen if it goes undetected. 


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Data protection and privacy regulations require you to demonstrate that you limit access to regulated information, such as credit card numbers and healthcare records. When you move that information to the cloud, it can be harder to prove compliance. Cloud deployments only give you partial visibility and control over your infrastructure. The result is that legal and regulatory compliance become significant cloud security challenges, so you will need to implement special cloud compliance solutions.

Steps to Take to Boost Cloud Security

Below are several high-level steps you can take to overcome the cloud security challenges outlined above: 


1. Develop a Cloud Strategy

Get your leadership team on board with a comprehensive cloud strategy. You must form a consensus that cloud computing is indispensable and that you should govern it with clear policies from the start. 


2. Apply Risk Management

Using cloud services requires you to accept some risks, but ignoring these risks can be dangerous. To mitigate cloud security challenges, you must make calculated decisions based on budgets and risk appetites when formulating a cloud computing strategy. The risk management model can paint you a clear picture of cloud risk levels so you can make intelligent cloud security decisions.  


3. Implement Identity and Access Management

Identity and access management (IAM) is vital to protecting critical enterprise assets, systems, and information on-premises and in the cloud. Through IAM, you can efficiently manage different security functions such as authentication, authorization, storage, and verification for cloud environments. 


4. Encrypt Data

Encption hides the data from unauthorized users by converting it into another code or format. Companies need to encrypt their data in the public cloud and during transit. Cloud service providers or third-party vendors can help with these encryption services. 


5. Protect Endpoints

Cloud services increase the need for endpoint security. Businesses must deploy endpoint security solutions to protect browsers and devices. Embedding effective client-side security within browsers and devices and requiring users to update regularly can help protect endpoints.

Synopsys Cloud as Security Differentiator

Synopsys Cloud offers a range of design and verification solutions in the cloud, backed up by our security commitment. We provide comprehensive cloud security for our cloud-optimized EDA and IP solutions and customers migrating their applications to the cloud.

We use a full suite of security tools that 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.


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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