Gartner Expert

Mark Pohto

Sr Principal Analyst

Mark Pohto is a Sr. Principal Analyst in the Technology and Service Provider (TSP) division of Gartner, researching Emerging Technologies and Trends (ETT) for security technology product leaders (tech CEOs, general managers, chief product officers, product managers, and product marketers). Mark is experienced in providing end-to-end physical and logical NIST and ICS based security to mission critical and highly targeted services.

Mr. Pohto has over 30 years of experience leading teams to implement and operate information technology with a broad range of activities including development, OS, storage, network, databases, infrastructure and operations, security telemetry, physical and logical security for highest security facilities and hyper-scale services.

Previous experience

Implemented and operated physical and logical security for Microsoft crypto top security facilities to protect public key infrastructure (PKI) based on intelligence community standards (ICS) and NIST.

Developed and operated security telemetry feeds and data quality processes for Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC). Leveraged big-data map reduce technology (Cosmos/Data Lake) to facilitate machine learning and AI development.

Led and taught database administration and operations at Microsoft and in the extension program at the University of Washington.

Developed the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) program (aka Ranger) for SQL Server. Contributed to peer MCA programs for Exchange, Windows and Active Directory.

US Intelligence Community: Conducted SIGINT Operations overseas as a Russian Linguist and lead analyst with the USAF/NSA. Conducted "all source" intelligence analysis at USAF Intelligence HQ. Transitioned into "big data" database programming for the USAF.

US Army: Trained and led armored cavalry troops as an officer in the US Army.

Professional background


Principal Security Engineer

Local Government Cities of Tacoma and Washington

Lead DBA

Puget Sound Power and Light

Systems Analyst/Developer

Areas of coverage

Security Operations

Infrastructure Security

Industry Markets and Technologies

Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact on Products and Services


Defense Language Institute (Russian)

US Army Officer Candidate School (with academic and physical honors)

Management Information Systems (multiple schools)

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Top Issues That I Help Clients Address

1What does a comprehensive security stack look like that spans physical and logical layers.

2Security Service Trends and Technologies

3Software services discussions and prioritization of adopted security services and controls.

4Enterprise Secure Infrastructure

5Selection and prioritization of security products, services and controls to address risks.