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IBM Champion Tony Owens

By Libby Ingrassia posted 16 days ago


Meet IBM Champion @Tony Owens. Tony is a Sr. Solutions Architect at Arrow Electronics, and has been an IBM Champion since 2020. Tony advocates for IBM QRadar and IBM Flash Systems, "because they work together to help customer solve a big problem with detection, protection, and recovery in the event of a cyber incident."

You're most likely to learn from Tony as he travels around the country doing speaking engagements. Tony's driven to give back to the community because he likes helping others. The former hacker is happy to "help others not to be a victim of cyber attacks." He says, "I enjoy the challenge of staying one step ahead of my former colleagues on the dark side and figuring out solutions to help our clients survive against the odds."

One of the moments Tony is most proud of - a great story - is helping someone stop an attack while in the midst of a demo. He says, "While working with a customer and showing them how the technology could help them defend against cyber attack, the end user said he had seen things like I was showing on the screen.  He said it was happening in his environment right then.  We stopped the demo and went to work helping him defend his environment against a cyber attack and protect the environment. Getting to be hands on in the middle of the attack and helping this customer come out without losing data or paying a ransom was very rewarding and helped prove the benefits of the cyber resiliency solution."

Since we know Tony's not going back to the dark side, we asked what he'd be doing if he didn't work in technology. Answer? "I would love to be a dive instructor in a tropical location.  I love to scuba dive and being able to do that regularly would be a great way to enjoy life."

Lightning round:

  • What would be your superpower and why?  Fly – Because as much time as I spend in airports and on planes it would be awesome if I could just fly myself.  The luggage may get a bit heavy over time on those long flights though.
  • Ice cream or cake?  Definitely Ice Cream. 
  • Cats or dogs?  Dogs
  • Summer or winter?  Not listed as one of the choices but my favorite time of year is actually the fall.  The little bit cooler temps but still amazing weather is idea time.
  • Morning or evening?  Evening – Definitely more of a night person.
  • eBook or paper book?  Paper book – I know it may seem old school but with my job so much time is spent looking at an electronic screen when I have down time I would rather look at a regular book.
  • TV shows or movies? Movies only because I like the story to wrap up within the 2 to 3 hours window that I have given.  Series that drag on for a long time are sometimes difficult to begin or finish.
  • A night out or a night in?  I enjoy a night out but after being on the road for awhile I like to stay in.  So, I guess it really depends if I’ve been on the road recently.
  • Cannonball into the pool or dip a toe in first?  Cannonball.  Growing up we had a pool in our backyard and I learned early on that easing in is hard to do. Just jump in and get the shock over all at once.  Much like the mind set in our industry of roll up your sleeves and dive in to solve the problem and come up with a solution.
  • Go-to karaoke song?  Gettin’ You Home by Chris Young aka “The little black dress song”

Join Tony at the IBM TechXchange conference in these sessions:

  • 1803: Understand a cyber attack. Hear from former hacker to help you prepare. 
  • 1806: FlashSystems on the Cyber Battlefield: Tactics for Defense and Recovery

Connect with Tony on the community or at LinkedIN.