David Rubal has worked in the technology industry for 35 years and does not see an end to the information technology partnerships between private companies and Federal agencies.
Rubal is vice president of Oracle’s North America Public Sector Cloud and Infrastructure Solution Sales Engineering Group. A data analyst by trade, Rubal joined George Mason University’s School of Information Technology and Engineering Data Analytics Industry Advisory Board in May to impart his wisdom on the students who will one day make up the workforce. The School of Engineering’s program focuses on data analytics in fields ranging from mechanical engineering to computer science.
“The next generation of IT is upon us,” Rubal said. “GMU helps guide the next-generation workforce. It actually integrates analytics and cyber opportunities. This is where analytics and cybersecurity touch.”
Over his years as a private-sector data analyst, Rubal has witnessed the world of technology evolve. He has been a part of the tech industry as it braced for stronger networks, increased storage space, and shifted away from hardware and toward virtualization. He said he has personally been involved in many partnerships between companies and agencies, and that he continues to work on such collaborative efforts at Oracle.
“It’s all about getting that collaboration,” Rubal said. “For us, it’s good to know what problems there are and where the challenges are. It seems like the government side benefits pretty significantly. It’s a chance for them to get a snapshot from industry. We can take the government on that journey.”
Rubal, who has worked in the private sector his whole career, stated that he has seen many Federal agencies market their research efforts. He said the most fruitful partnerships between agencies and industry have been the ones where companies establish close relations after many years. In these partnerships, representatives from the private sector basically form an advisory board for agencies.
According to Rubal, these relationships are important because they offer private companies an opportunity to get on the ground and see firsthand the challenges the government faces. He said collaboration allows companies such as Oracle the opportunity to be aware of certain threats, including malware.
“The role the analyst plays is increasing. There are opportunities to grow analytic muscles,” Rubal said. “It’s an opportunity to guide the government.”
Rubal, who is scheduled to speak at MeriTalk’s Cyber Security Brainstorm on Sept. 13, said government policy will always tend to lag behind industry advancement because Federal agencies are constantly evaluating risk from a wide scope of threats, both internal and external.
Because of their dependence on the private sector, he stated that partnerships between agencies and companies will continue and perhaps become even more pervasive.
“The role of partnerships has never been more important or valuable,” Rubal said. “The job is never done. You can mitigate so much, but you need to know what to mitigate.”