The semiconductor design industry of the embedded era has embraced the globalization strategy for system on chip (SoC) design. This involves incorporation of various SoC components or intellectual properties (IPs), procured from various third-party IP (3PIP) vendors. However, trust of an SoC is challenged when a supplied IP is counterfeit or implanted with a Hardware Trojan Horse. Both roots of untrust may result in sudden performance degradation at runtime. None of the existing hardware security approaches organize the behavior of the IPs at the low level, to ensure timely completion of SoC operations. However, real-time SoC operations are always associated with a deadline, and a deadline miss due to sudden performance degradation of any of the IPs may jeopardize mission-critical applications. We seek refuge to the stigmergic behavior exhibited in insect colonies to propose a decentralized self-aware security approach. The self-aware security modules attached with each IP works based on the Observe-Decide-Act paradigm and not only detects vulnerability but also organizes behavior of the IPs dynamically at runtime so that the high-level objective of task completion before a deadline is ensured. Experimental validation and low overhead of our proposed security modules over various benchmark IPs and crypto SoCs depict the prospects of our proposed mechanism. © 2019 Association for Computing Machinery.