About ISTS

The Institute for Security, Technology and Society (ISTS) at Dartmouth College is dedicated to pursuing research and education to advance information security and privacy throughout society.

About the Institute

ISTS engages in interdisciplinary research, education and outreach programs that focus on information technology (IT) and its role in society, particularly the impact of IT in security and privacy broadly conceived. ISTS nurtures leaders and scholars, educates students and the community, and collaborates with its partners to develop and deploy IT, and to better understand how IT relates to socio-economic forces, cultural values and political influences. ISTS research improves our ability to:

  • Design and deploy secure, usable computer systems and protect them from tampering, disruption and attack
  • Enable people and organizations to communicate and exchange information securely and privately across networked computing devices
  • Address social, economic and policy issues that arise in the development, deployment and regulation of such information technology

ISTS at a Glance

  • Founded at Dartmouth in 2000.
  • ISTS funding has supported 64 Dartmouth faculty members (tenure-track and research faculty) across every school at Dartmouth, and 21 faculty at other institutions, as well as 35 postdoctoral fellows, 150 graduate students, 160 undergraduates, and more than 200 researchers.
  • Published over 500 papers, articles and reports, and two books; Trusted Computing Platforms: Design and Application and The Craft of System Security.
  • Created several new courses for the Dartmouth curriculum, and sponsored numerous workshops and invited speakers.
  • Assisted Dartmouth faculty and researchers in winning over $20M in additional competitive funding. 
  • Engaged multiple corporations in research projects or collaborative discussions.
  • Built and operated HEBCA (the Higher-Ed Bridge Certificate Authority).
  • Developed the leading PKI research lab in academia.
  • Conducted a national-scale Livewire cyber-exercise, involving 200 participants from 20 private-sector organizations and 14 federal agencies and 15 state and local governments in a week-long simulation of a sustained cyber attack against critical infrastructure in the United States.
  • In 2008, designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security and redesignated as such in 2014 and 2019.
  • Annually co-sponsored, with Dartmouth's Information Technology Services, the Securing the eCampus conference, focused on information security issues in higher education.
  • Developed and ran the Secure Information Systems Mentoring and Training (SISMAT) program, an intensive two-week summer training and mentoring program for undergraduates from universities that do not offer extensive computer security coursework.


  • ISTS is a member of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection, which is a nationwide consortium of leading cybersecurity research and development organizations including universities, federally funded labs and non-profit organizations.
  • ISTS is proud to be a member of the Dartmouth Centers Forum, an alliance of Dartmouth's academic centers fostering campus-wide dialogue and cooperative programming.