cybersecurity Glossary

What is Kernel?

The Kernel is the core of a device’s operating system, and its main function is to secure access to the hardware to the different software that requests it. In such a way, the Kernel acts as an intermediary that manages system resources and prioritizes requests for access to the processor and memory. In turn, it facilitates secure communication between the different programs.   

Since the Kernel is the most privileged place in an operating system, many cybersecurity solutions are installed as a driver in this privileged place to monitor all system activity and detect anomalous behavior. 

The main threat in an operating system is the existence of vulnerabilities that allow privileges to be elevated at the kernel level, enabling the theft of secrets and the deployment of undetectable malicious code called a rootkit.