SeNonDiv: Securing Non-Volatile Memory using Hybrid Memory and Critical Data Diversion

Arijit Nath1, Manik B Bhosle2, Hemangee Kapoor3
1IIT Guwahati, India, 2IIT Guwahati, 3Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati


The emerging Non-volatile memories are projected as alternatives of traditional DRAM-based main memories. However, their non-volatility feature leads to serious security vulnerabilities. The sensitive data stored in these memories can be easily taken away due to prolonged data retention. A wide variety of encryption-based techniques protect these data at the cost of harmful side effects of encryption algorithms like high encryption/decryption latency and increased encryption-induced write activities. It launches a tug-of-war between security provisioning and system performance degradation as well as shortened lifetime of NVMs.

In this paper, we propose a data-diversion based technique that protects the security-sensitive data of the applications by allocating the security critical pages in the volatile DRAM part of a DRAM-PCM hybrid main memory system on page faults. Experimental evaluation shows significant improvements in performance and lifetime compared to a partial encryption and a full encryption based technique.