Data Security Challenges in the Semiconductor Industry

When it comes to data security, the industry faces some unique challenges due to the sharing of sensitive intellectual property across a sprawling supply chain and the ever-present threat of a data breach.

The semiconductor industry is no stranger to data security breaches. In fact, according to a recent study by Gartner, it is the most targeted by cybercriminals, with 39% of surveyed organizations experiencing a breach in 2018.

The semiconductor industry is highly complex and regulated, with strict compliance requirements for handling-controlled items, data, and technologies. To ensure compliance, semiconductor companies must thoroughly understand the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Semiconductor companies must be familiar with both sets of regulations to classify their products and ensure compliance correctly.

Managing an Increasingly Complex Supply Chain

A recent study found the Covid-19 pandemic to be the decade’s single most disruptive event for global manufacturing supply chains.* (

Securing the Supply Chain: Ensuring Data Security at Every Step of Production

The best way to overcome this challenge is to have a comprehensive data security plan that covers every step of production — from sourcing raw materials to finished shipping products. This plan should include detailed protocols for handling sensitive data and should be reviewed and updated regularly.

Here are some simple ways:

  • Preventing copying data and securing strong passwords
  • Safe storage of qualifications (encrypted credentials)
  • Ensuring data privacy while complying with different regulations
  • Track and detect device well-being and inform in case of suspicious activity

Since industrial specialization is necessary for semiconductor production, the close cooperation between the semiconductor industry’s upstream and downstream organizations ensures a holistic cybersecurity strategy that protects our factory’s supply chain from attacks and data theft.

Protecting Intellectual Property

To overcome this challenge, it’s essential to partner with a data security provider specializing in the semiconductor industry who is constantly up to date on the latest trends and security best practices. The right vendor can also help you develop custom solutions that address your specific data security needs.

Key Compliance Regulations in Action for the Semiconductor Industry

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulation (EAR)

There are several ITAR and EAR compliance requirements that semiconductor companies must meet, including:

  • Ensuring that only U.S. persons have access to ITAR-controlled items and technologies
  • Preventing the release of ITAR-controlled technical data to foreign nationals without prior authorization
  • Implementing a compliance program that includes documentation, tracking, monitoring, and auditing of shipments and related data
  • Maintaining records of all ITAR-controlled items and technologies.

Failure to comply with ITAR or EAR requirements can result in severe penalties, fines, and jail time for all ITAR-controlled items and technologies.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

The document pointed out that supply chain security risks may come from:

  • Theft of confidential information by system integrators’ insiders
  • Agents working for the specific country put malware into products provided by suppliers
  • Reuse vulnerable code and the proposed 18 domains for effectively managing supply chain cybersecurity risks.

Seclore’s Digital Asset Protection and Control

  • WHO can access the data within the organization?
  • HOW does the organization protect data privacy when shared externally?
  • WHAT are the steps taken to revoke the data in case of a data breach?
  • CAN your organization track the flow of sensitive data?

Seclore’s Digital Asset Protection and Control has repeatedly proven its ability to enable organizations to:

  • Protect confidential information
  • Eliminate data leakage and data theft, especially while outsourcing business operations
  • Comply with the relevant guidelines and regulatory compliance obligations.

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Seclore’s Enterprise Digital Rights Management solution enables organizations to persistently control the usage of files wherever they go.

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Seclore’s Enterprise Digital Rights Management solution enables organizations to persistently control the usage of files wherever they go.