Case Study: Forbes - Britive
Why Britive Case Study: Forbes

Forbes gains DevOps-friendly ephemeral access in GCP and more with Britive

Media publishers utilize the speed and scale of the cloud to distribute on-demand news and information to a global audience with a reach that often eclipses that of traditional broadcast media. Forbes leverages Britive to accelerate developer and business intelligence analysts’ cloud access while eliminating the time-consuming back-and-forth of manual access provisioning that can mistakenly result in either standing access or over-privileged accounts.


Forbes is a global media brand that champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 140 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE and Virtual events, custom marketing programs, and 45 licensed local editions in 76 countries. Forbes’ brand extensions include real estate, education and financial services license agreements.  

The Challenges

After Forbes migrated to the cloud in 2019, Google performed a cloud infrastructure  assessment for the company, identifying the need for better control of identity access to cloud infrastructure and applications. This gap prompted Sameer Patwardhan, SVP Technology for Forbes, to examine identity tooling that could fulfill this need. 

At the time, the IT security team was handling access requests manually. Patwardhan wanted a more programmatic means of implementing time-bound access with the correct level of permissions, so he evaluated Britive, which Forbes now uses for automated Just-in-Time (JIT) access provisioning. 

   Manual review and approval access process: granting and revoke privileges took several days and could introduce errors resulting in incorrect privileges 

   Delayed onboarding and access: having a globally dispersed development team meant the manual review and approval process could take even longer due to back-and-forth communications across time zones 

   No DevOps-friendly JIT access tools available that readily integrate with DevOps build processes to enhance developers’ productivity  

Eliminated 54K+ static privileges and secured access to 978+ GCP Projects
Manage 400+ identity profiles for JIT access in GCP
Deployed in under four weeks using Britive’s lightweight API architecture

The Solution

The Forbes management team saw the Google cloud infrastructure and process assessment findings as validation for implementing a unified JIT access management solution like Britive: the goal was to both secure identity access to cloud infrastructure and apps while ensuring no account has more privileges than necessary for longer than necessary.  

The security team at Forbes considered building their own automated JIT access tooling for GCP, knowing that they needed to address the risk introduced by standing privileges and hard coded secrets necessary for developers and the BI team to execute their work. But once their analysis revealed the level of complexity necessary to institute the controls necessary to grant and revoke privileged access, they decided to search for an enterprise-grade solution. 

Forbes deployed Britive’s API-first solution in under four weeks. The security team can now restrict user access to the minimum levels required to perform a job or function in GCP. Doing so means Forbes’ security team can enforce the principle of least privilege to reduce the risk of data breaches and data leakage.  

Forbes uses Britive to provide JIT access in GCP to a team of 70+ developers and recently onboarded and provisioned access for their Business Intelligence Team to BigQuery and Looker. With Britive, Forbes was able to free up the junior security engineer and overall security team for higher-value work instead of managing a slow manual process of reviewing, approving and provisioning access requests: “Access management is no longer a full-time job for the security team to babysit,” Patwardhan said. 

Once deployed, Forbes realized several benefits: 

   Rapid deployment via lightweight API in just under four weeks, not months as legacy PAM solutions require 

   Automated JIT access with granting and revoking of temporary privileges across GCP, Google Workspace, BigQuery, Looker and Okta Super Administrator accounts—all of which can be monitored while on- and off-boarding of privileged access. 

   Access visibility via an audit trail of every privileged access granted with robust approval controls to eliminate approval fatigue and accelerate adoption 


In this age of cloud automation there should be a way of accessing cloud resources via API provisioning: Britive has built this framework that allows for just that. By plugging into Britive’s framework, we get oversight and auditability through approval — all of this is auto provisioned so it’s efficient and eliminates errors.  

Sameer Patwardhan, SVP Technology at Forbes



Adopting Britive for ephemeral, time-based access to data and apps in GCP meant Forbes could increase developer and business end user productivity by moving away from manual processes to review, grant and revoke privileges and reducing overall on- and off-boarding time.  

Forbes’ development team currently uses Britive to manage access for 978 GCP Projects that form the basis for creating, enabling, and using all Google Cloud services, including managing APIs, adding and removing collaborators, and managing permissions. 

In aggregate, Britive has helped Forbes eliminate 54K+ standing privileges for developers and business users so they can access critical cloud infrastructure, apps and data. Doing so means they can deliver key cloud-based projects for stakeholders across Forbes rapidly.


“Britive worked to build a good relationship with us and that’s key: the Britive team really understood our use cases and what we were looking for and quickly identified how they could help us. That relationship aspect is important to us.”  

Sameer Patwardhan, SVP Technology at Forbes


Additional results of implementing Britive for JIT cloud access include: 

   Customization via API coupled with an approval process that provides visibility into what identities have access to specific GCP-based resources 

   Implementing JIT access management with temporary, granular profile-based access 

   Eliminating 54K+ standing privileges across 978 GCP Projects, Google Workspaces, BigQuery, Looker, and Okta Super Administrator accounts 

   Integrating DevOps build process with Britive’s JIT access solution 

Other factors that influenced the decision to implement Britive’s JIT cloud access solution include:


Ensuring privileges are assigned correctly

preventing the manual errors that result in an identity being assigned unnecessary privileges  

Auto-provisioning access entitlements

and eliminating manual permission provisioning 

Audit logs and metrics

that show who accessed what cloud resource, when and for how long 

Secure and Scale at Speed of the Cloud with Britive

Minimize your attack surface, cut overhead, streamline compliance audits, and boost productivity. Get in touch today to see Britive in action.