Future of Digital Security

IST’s 2022: By the Numbers

As we come to the end of this year of unprecedented productivity and growth, we at IST want to stop to thank you–our supporters–for helping us make 2022 such a success. Whether you attended one of our events, read a report that we published, interacted with us on social media, or donated to support our work, we are grateful to have you join us in our mission. Here’s to another banner year in 2023!

386 pages

published in 21 reports, briefings, and one-pagers. Our research was prolific, spanning topics from the ransomware payment ecosystem and forecasting the AI and nuclear landscape to nuclear crisis communications and digital cognition and democracy. Our shortest publication was a 1 page fact sheet on the Pentagon’s establishment of the Office of Strategic Capital. Our longest publication was a 77-page literature review to inform our research into how digital technologies affect human cognition, and what those effects mean for democracy. No matter the number of pages, we strove to execute data-informed, insightful research on some of the most pressing issues in security and technology.

6 new members of the IST team

joined us this year. They leverage their backgrounds in research, operations, fundraising, and communications, as well as their expertise in international collaboration, cybersecurity, and nuclear policy, to inform IST’s work and contribute to its success. We’re thrilled to have Alice Hunt Friend, Silas Cutler, Emma Hollingsworth, Sophia Mauro, Sylvia Mishra, and Elizabeth Vish with us!

14 in-depth blogs

posted on our #NatSpecs blog unpacked current events, provided takeaways on summits and events that IST attended, and presented new research questions. Informing our work on the future of digital security, Zoë Brammer wrote about the security and regulatory challenges facing crypto and Web3, while Andrew Jensen discussed the concept of the metaverse and what it means for the future of the Internet. As IST traversed the globe to meet with leaders on cybersecurity and anti-ransomware initiatives, Elizabeth Vish summarized her key takeaways from her time at the Paris Peace Forum, while Megan Stifel gave us an inside look at her time at the White House International Counter Ransomware Initiative Summit. Within our work on innovation and catastrophic risk, Leah Walker wrote about the critical role of crisis communications in the Russo-Ukrainian war, while Alexa Wehsener and Sylvia Mishra unpacked differences in crisis communications amongst China, Russia, and the U.S.–and what this means for nuclear risk reduction efforts.

1839 attendees 

joined us at IST’s public-facing events this year, contributing to our timely conversations and informing our discussions about key issues in technology and security.


89.5% of recommendations

in the initial Ransomware Task Force report have seen some degree of implementation in the 18 months since its publication. Learn more about the Ransomware Task Force’s ongoing work and its goals for 2023 in our blog “Eighteen Months On: Continued Progress on Ransomware Task Force Recommendations.”

12 techno-cognitive risks

identified by the Digital Cognition and Democracy team. In their capstone report Rewired: How Digital Technologies Shape Cognition and Democracy, they categorize each risk into four areas of concern: gamification and addictive design; information overload; unnaturally immersive and easy experience; and lack of friction. Ultimately, they hypothesize that these risks increase susceptibility to misinformation and drive political-ideological polarization.

20 national representatives

briefed on the CATALINK initiative. In an effort to drive international adoption of CATALINK, a secure, resilient crisis communication system which would rely on internationally driven open-source technologies to maximize user integrity and trust, the team has sought to introduce it to as many global stakeholders as possible.

45 external events

attended by the IST team as panelists, participants, and speakers. From Geneva and Paris to New York and Washington, the team was busy discussing a range of topics, from cybersecurity of digital assets and public-private partnerships in fighting ransomware threats to nuclear risk reduction and China-India-Pakistan nuclear competition.