When Jeffrey Phelan, Chief Technology Officer, Rubrik Federal, joined Rubrik in September 2020, he was already very familiar with the company from a customer perspective. Calling himself “one of its largest customers'' while still working at General Dynamics Information Technology, Phelan eventually reached out to Bipul Sinha, Rubrik’s CEO, to discuss how the company could be scaled across the public sector. Recognising an opportunity that would allow him to combine his long-term focuses of digital transformation, infrastructure, modernisation, and data protection strategies, Phelan decided to join and help realise Rubrik’s vision.
He brought with him over a decade of network security industry experience, a passion for integrating security across the entire organisation, and a practical mentality that prioritises the elimination of complexity. Some of Phelan’s previous roles include executive positions at BluVector, Northrop Grumman, and SRA.
According to Phelan, data management has always been Rubrik’s “bread and butter,” but an ongoing attentiveness to organisations’ security needs, particularly in light of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in May 2021 will be a core focus in the future. Part of this will include fostering stronger bonds between different teams, particularly network security teams and infrastructure teams. With reliability, resilience, and accessibility standing as common goals for both, Phelan anticipates that Rubrik will be increasingly included in security conversations to help reconcile other differences. “Our capability is really about providing a great rally point for CISOs, CIOs, and the infrastructure teams to find common ground. We can add resilience, and we can work to create what I call a ‘moving defence’ so that customers can adapt much more rapidly to attacks.”
Regarding Rubrik’s COVID-19 response, Phelan is overwhelmingly positive, “It’s a very receptive company: its people listen, and they don't dismiss your concerns. Rubrik is very focused on the long-term well-being of not just the company but also its people.” This attitude correlates with his own broader ideal of positive leadership: “Good leadership is, in my mind, how you inspire the people around you. That’s accomplished by demonstrating through your actions that good intentions aren’t just words.”
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“Sometimes automation is seen as a panacea. We see it as one of a number of solutions, not a silver bullet.”