A system and method for processor-based security is provided, for on-chip security and trusted computing services for software applications. A processor is provided having a processor core, a cache memory, a plurality of registers for storing at least one hash value and at least one encryption key, a memory interface, and at least one on-chip instruction for creating a secure memory area in a memory external to the processor, and a hypervisor program executed by the processor. The hypervisor program instructs the processor to execute the at least one on-chip instruction to create a secure memory area for a software area for a software module, and the processor encrypts data written to, and decrypts data read from, the external memory using the at least one encryption key and the verifying data read from the external memory using the at least one hash value. Secure module interactions are provided, as well as the generation of a power-on key which can be used to protect memory in the event of a re-boot event. Lightweight, run-time attestation reports are generated which include selected information about software modules executed by the processors, for use in determining whether the processor is trusted to provide secure services.