MNRB Reduces Costs and Secures Its Systems with Kong

Leading Malaysian insurance company turns to Kong to provide outstanding customer experiences

A strong commitment to protecting customers

MNRB Holdings Berhad is an investment holding company principally engaged in the provision of management services for its subsidiaries. MNRBs branches include investment holding, reinsurance, retakaful and retail takaful (takaful is a shared risk system of reimbursement, organized as an Islamic alternative to conventional insurance).

In an increasingly globalized marketplace, MNRB strives to enhance the competitiveness and efficiency of local insurance companies through its active involvement in leading and underwriting their reinsurance needs.

By leaning on strong values and an accomplished track record, MNRB has grown in stature as an international player with a strong market presence in Asia and the Middle East.

RegionAsia Pacific
Use CaseSecurity & Governance
Customer Since2021
Days to milliseconds

customers are now verified instantaneously


Growing Globally with an API-first Approach

With a commitment to expanding its domestic footprint while continuing to pursue select markets abroad, the MNRB Digital Innovation Department prioritized modernizing its technology stack.

In striving to become an API-first organization, Mohd Khairul Hairi B Mazlan, Head of DevOps at MNRB, and his team sought an API gateway solution that could support their requirements for scaling well-designed APIs in a proficient and cost-effective manner.


Scaling securely

Kong Gateway Enterprise was selected by the team at MNRB to support their modernization initiative, largely due to Kong's ability to provide a consolidated platform that offers pricing comparisons from all insurance operators. Mazlan and the team required a middle layer to consolidate all front-end facing systems to their back-used system using API gateways. Additionally, they needed an API catalog to ensure all their APIs could easily be viewed and tested.

Mazlan worked with their partners at Crest Infosolutions to select Kong as a partner and build out the infrastructure that would become the backbone of MNRBs new modern infrastructure.


Building outstanding digital experiences for customers

One significant challenge MNRB previously faced was its ability to deliver insurance services quickly to customers. Before implementing Kong, it could take more than 3 days to get verification between systems that a customer had purchased services. This was especially a problem when customers needed to file a claim in the interim, while they were still waiting for that verification. Using Kong Gateway Enterprise, they've been able to set up these connections to provide instant verification, delivering a much better customer experience. There are many systems that work together to provide pricing comparisons and quotes, verify the customers purchase via email and SMS, and allow them to use the interface to submit a claim. This used to take a matter of days now, with Kong, its instantaneous, says Mazlan.

MNRB's achievements in delivering exceptional customer experiences were recognized at the Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards in 2022, winning the Insurtech Financial Technology award category.

Embracing Microservices and Reducing Overhead Costs

Many forward-thinking enterprises today are increasingly adopting microservices as their architecture of choice. This is for good reason, as this popularized architecture brings numerous advantages to the table, including the ability to easily integrate with modern platforms and tools while allowing for independent scalability across teams thanks to the loosely-coupled nature of microservices-based architecture.

In light of becoming an API-first organization with Kong, MNRB also looked to begin its transition to microservices. Through leveraging its well-designed APIs, MNRB could now streamline its service-to-service communication and build a more fault-tolerant system. Additionally, with Kong handling the majority of the load balancing for its microservices-based architecture, MNRB could minimize the overhead costs that would have otherwise been allocated to additional servers and hardware load balancers had an API gateway not been present.

The challenge microservices presented for MNRB is that they require services to be externally exposed, which leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. Mazlan and the team needed a way to enable 360-degree protection of their services. They did this through a combination of monolithic architecture, which allows for separation of the web and application layers using a firewall, and microservices deployed using docker images. "This was only possible using Kong Enterprise Gateway to manage and secure the connections from front-end to back-end services," says Mazlan. "This strategy has led to significant cost savings while keeping our services secure and protected," he shared. Kong has made MNRB's microservices applications more flexible and easier to work with, allowing the team to focus on development and less on technical issues.

Ensuring Operational Resilience for MNRB’s Microservices

While a microservices-based architecture offers many business advantages, it may also introduce a handful of common challenges that are critical for every high-profile organization to address. Perhaps most notably, as the number of microservices increases, the complexity of managing these services will also increase. As a result, this may hinder service visibility and elevate the risk for potential security vulnerabilities if left unchecked.

To provide its internal service network with an advanced security layer, MNRB has opted to use a DMZ firewall. When using this firewall in conjunction with Kong, MNRB elevates the reliability and resilience of its three-tier architecture. Additionally, through Kongs strong overall security posture and large plugin library (OAuth2, OpenID Connect, and more), MNRB is now equipped with an ideal line of defense for exposing APIs and services to external parties while mitigating risk. As a result, their systems are more secure and at no additional cost to provide full protection, while deploying a minimum number of VMs.

API Catalog – Improving Time To Market

APIs sit at the intersection of people and technology, providing a means for translating machine language into real-world applications. With this in mind, Mazlan prioritized investing in a technology platform that was not only highly performant but also possessed an inherent ease-of-use factor that would enhance his team's development experience, enabling them to reach their goals faster and in a repeatable manner.

Through its streamlined developer onboarding, intuitive content management for documentation, and role-based access control, Kong became the technology platform of choice for MNR'Bs API-led program. Kong's Developer Portal enabled the MNRB team to create an online brochure that now serves as its single source of truth for API consumption. With this comprehensive platform for locating, accessing and consuming services, the MNRB team has been able to accelerate its overall API development time, and more specifically has improved the time to delivery for its various products. "Delivering new products to all five of our main platforms is so much faster now all we have to do is create the new API and deploy it to our API gateway so it can be consumed by our various front-end systems," says Mazlan.

"Kong's end-to-end API management platform provides us with the ability to digitally transform our business."

Mohd Khairul Hairi B Mazlan
Head of DevOps at MNRB

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