Analyst Profile

Eric Ahlm

Eric Ahlm

Sr Director Analyst

10 years at Gartner ,  23 years industry experience

Roles and Responsibilities

In his role as Research Director within the Security team at Gartner, Eric Ahlm has the charter to look broadly across the security marketplace. Looking broadly allows Mr. Ahlm to find fast-moving and disruptive trends that can impact multiple security markets, and identify market factors such as convergence growth, slowdowns or changes in competitive landscapes due to emerging trends. Mr. Ahlm's broad charter allows him to speak with enterprise buyers, security product and service providers, and investors worldwide about topical security issues and market movements. Lately, Mr. Ahlm has been following security trends such as advanced threat defense, mobile device security, BYOD, security virtualization and transformation in private and public cloud environments, security as a service (SecaaS), threat intelligence, security information analytics, telekinesis, incident response, and user authentication. Although Mr. Ahlm is often looking at emerging technologies, many of the trends that he follows come from observing disruptive forces in major markets, such as NGFW, IPS, EPP, SWG, SEG, user authentication, MDM, EMM, SSL VPN, DDoS and SIEM. This role allows Mr. Ahlm to help security vendors plan future investments that are aligned to the market direction, security buyers understand how emerging trends can impact their security programs or budgets, and investors understand global growth opportunities for security.


Previous Experience

Mr. Ahlm's broad coverage at Gartner is founded on his equally broad experience with security technologies prior to joining Gartner. He spent six years working in the field of security consulting at a regional provider called Vigilar. His responsibilities there included performing ethical hacking services, running a security product testing lab for hundreds of security technologies, and advising clients on security strategies and technologies. Mr. Ahlm left Vigilar to follow an opportunity with Cisco as a security specialist for five years. At Cisco, his primary responsibility was to advise its key customers on security technologies and the best approach to solving common security challenges. What Cisco added to his vantage point was the need to work with broader decision makers outside of security in projects where security was not the primary goal. This helped him gain insights into other relevant technologies, such as data center virtualization, rich media extension, web-based collaboration tools, and cloud-based offerings, where the underlying question was, "What is the security risk of adoption to this new method of doing business?"

Professional Background

Cisco Systems, Security Specialist, 5 years
Symantec, Security Partner Channel Manager, 1 year
Vigilar, Director of Emerging Technologies, 5 years


Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering Technologies (BSEET), 1998



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