Memory Protection

What is Memory Protection?

Memory protection refers to securing the computer memory, either at the software or hardware level to prevent unauthorized access to it by any computer process.

Technically, it is the practice to enhance security of memory by following different additional processes such as protection of executable space in the memory and layout randomization of the address spaces.

Understanding Memory Protection

What is Memory Protection

The act of securing the memory to make sure it is not accessed by any unauthorized process is called memory protection. It can be done both at the hardware and the software levels.

The concept of memory protection is not new. In fact, it was implemented for the first time in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, it did not gain steam and was not embraced as a useful computing practice until the 2000s.

Nowadays, memory protection is an integral part of almost every operating system (software level) and CPU architecture (hardware level).

Ideally, different types of memory protection techniques are followed by different operating systems, and that is why their efficiency may vary. Different operating systems that implement this protection technique include:

In short, almost all operating systems available on the market today support some form of memory protection.

However, it has become a more sophisticated technique today mainly due to the advancements in technology.

It can now offer tighter controls over different applications.

There are different methods followed for memory protection, such as:

Why is Memory Protection Important?

There is an immense need to protect your memory because it will prevent a process from accessing any memory space that is not allocated. In other words, it will prevent the software from gaining control over a large amount of memory.

Ideally, with proper memory protection a lot of adverse situations can be avoided. These include any potential and significant damage caused to the system as well as other software programs installed in it.

With proper protection of the memory, you may also be able to identify harmful applications and malicious software that may later affect the performance of the operating system and the computer as a whole.

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It also prevents the possibility of any erroneous data transmission, or, in some specific situations, it may also result in the loss of the stored data in the memory during the execution of a program due to specific conditions such as:

This will increase the efficiency of computer operation because a properly protected, organized and managed memory will result in:

By preventing unauthorized access, memory protection will, in turn, prevent hardware faults such as:

In short, memory protection is important for simultaneous solutions of different issues, latent or obvious, in a computer in a real-time-sharing system.

It will help multiple users when they use program archives and libraries belonging to different users or for the real-time operations of numerous on-line units.


Memory protection is the practice of preserving the contents of the memory and preventing any unauthorized access to the space.

It is integral in hardware and software levels and typically useful in multitasking settings but its efficiency may vary according to the operating system used in the computer systems.