Strengthening Governance and Security in Financial Institutions with Policy as Code and Kyverno

Strengthening Governance and Security in Financial Institutions with Policy as Code and Kyverno

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Photo by: Nick Pampoukidis (unsplash)

In today’s rapidly evolving financial landscape, large institutions face the challenge of maintaining robust governance and compliance processes while fostering developer productivity and agility. The implementation of policy as code provides an effective solution to streamline these processes, enhance security posture, and ensure compliance standards. In this blog post, we will explore how large financial institutions can leverage policy as code, with a focus on Kyverno, the Kubernetes-native policy engine, and showcase real-world use cases.

Policy as Code: Streamlining Governance and Compliance

Policy as code involves representing rules, guidelines, and standards as code, providing financial institutions with the means to automate policy enforcement and streamline governance and compliance. By leveraging policy as code, large financial institutions can achieve the following:

Automation and Consistency: Policy as code enables financial institutions to automate policy checks and validations, minimizing human error and ensuring consistent adherence to policies. By using Kyverno, institutions can define policies in Kubernetes clusters, allowing for automatic enforcement and continuous evaluation.

Agility and Flexibility: Financial institutions must be adaptable to changing regulatory requirements. Policy as code, in conjunction with Kyverno, facilitates easy updates and modifications to policies, ensuring that compliance standards are met promptly. Kyverno’s integration with Git workflows simplifies version control and collaboration among teams, enhancing agility and flexibility.

Enhanced Security Posture: Setting guardrails for developers without hampering productivity and agility is a crucial aspect of policy as code. Kyverno empowers financial institutions to define and enforce policies that validate security configurations and best practices. This helps prevent misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and security breaches within Kubernetes clusters.

DevOps Integration: Policy as code, along with Kyverno, integrates seamlessly with the DevOps workflow. By incorporating policy checks at each stage of the software development lifecycle, institutions can ensure compliance and security are inherent in the development and deployment processes. Kyverno can be integrated with popular CI/CD tools, such as Jenkins or GitLab, to enforce policies during the build and deployment phases.

Case Study: Large Financial Institution in AsiaPacific

Let’s take a look at how a Large Financial Institution successfully implemented policy as code using Kyverno to streamline their governance and compliance processes while improving security posture.

Challenge: The Financial Institution needed to enforce strict security policies and compliance standards across their Kubernetes infrastructure. However, manual policy checks were time-consuming, prone to errors, and hindered developer productivity. Moreover, existing security tools did not provide the flexibility needed by the financial institution to create their own policies and adopt policy-as-code.

Solution: The financial institution adopted Kyverno, the Kubernetes-native policy engine, to automate policy enforcement and enhance security posture. They mapped their compliance controls to Kyverno policies defined policies as code to ensure that all deployments within their Kubernetes clusters adhered to their security and compliance guidelines.

Examples of Policies Implemented with Kyverno:

Pod Security Standards: The financial institution defined policies using Kyverno to enforce pod-level security requirements, such as preventing the use of privileged containers, setting resource limits, and restricting hostPath mounts. These policies were automatically enforced during the deployment process, ensuring secure and compliant pod configurations.

Label and Annotation Validation: Kyverno enabled the financial institution to enforce consistent labeling and annotation practices across their Kubernetes resources. By defining policies that required specific labels and annotations, they ensured proper identification and management of resources, minimizing confusion and potential security risks.

Policies for Infrastructure as Code: The financial institution integrated Kyverno with Crossplane to enforce the defined security policies on their infrastructure resources. This integration allows Kyverno to evaluate and enforce policies on the cloud resources provisioned through Crossplane.

Cost Governance: The financial institution defined cost governance policies using Kyverno. These policies enforced rules and best practices related to resource allocation, utilization, and cost optimization. Some examples include Resource Tagging, Idle Resource Termination, Resource Size Optimization, and Budget Enforcement.

Software Supply Chain Security: The financial institution defined image verification policies using Kyverno. These policies enforce rules and standards for image verification. By leveraging Kyverno’s image verification policies,the financial institution strengthened its software supply chain security ensuring that only trusted, signed, and validated container images are deployed, reducing the risk of unauthorized or tampered images compromising the environment.

Results and Benefits:

Improved Security Posture: By leveraging Kyverno’s policies, the financial institution significantly enhanced their security posture. They minimized the risk of misconfigurations, reduced the attack surface, and prevented potential security breaches within their Kubernetes clusters.

Streamlined Governance and Compliance: Policy as code, powered by Kyverno, automated policy enforcement, reducing manual efforts and ensuring consistent compliance. This streamlined governance and compliance processes, saving time and resources while maintaining regulatory standards.

Developer Productivity and Agility: Kyverno’s integration into the DevOps workflow allowed developers at the financial institution to work within the defined policy guardrails without sacrificing productivity or agility. Immediate feedback on policy violations helped developers proactively address compliance issues, enabling faster and more secure application development and deployment.


Financial institutions face the critical challenge of balancing governance, compliance, and security while fostering developer productivity and agility. Policy as code, coupled with the powerful capabilities of Kyverno, provides an effective solution to streamline these processes. By leveraging Kyverno’s automation, flexibility, and integration with the DevOps workflow, financial institutions can enforce policies, improve security posture, and maintain compliance standards without impeding developer productivity. The real-world case study of a Large Financial Institution based in AsiaPacific showcases the tangible benefits of implementing policy as code with Kyverno, highlighting the importance of this approach in today’s evolving financial landscape.


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