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We live in a world where the IT landscape is constantly changing. Advancements in AI, Next-G communications, and autonomous systems invite us to imagine a future full of exciting possibilities. 
In the last year, CCI obtained $75.1 in research funding from sources outside Virginia for every $1 spent by CCI in research activities

But this progress comes at a cost. More than ever, we’re experiencing new vulnerabilities and complex cybersecurity challenges. Simply responding to these threats when they happen will keep us one step behind. And unfortunately, this reactive approach is one many organizations have taken—bolting on security fixes in the aftermath of major cybersecurity breaches. This course of action leads to patchy and poorly integrated security solutions. And in the modern era, where we entrust our automobiles, factories, pacemakers, and energy distribution to the Internet of Things (IoT), security must not be an afterthought.

With this conviction in mind, and in concert with our university and industry partners, CCI has identified opportunities for targeted research of IoT, Next-G communications, cyber physical systems security, data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. 

We’re challenging the nation’s most innovative minds to stay one-step-ahead of the cyber challenges of tomorrow. And in so doing, we are also creating new jobs, increasing the economic growth of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

New CCI Research Contracts: Funding from Federal and Industry Sources, In Millions

CCI: Advancing People and Technology for a Secure Tomorrow

Our Research Focus Areas:

Securing the Next Generation of Networks (Secure NextG)

At CCI, we’re helping to secure the communications networks that are part of the country’s critical infrastructure. In the United States, industry has made an investment of more than $350 billion in the fifth generation of mobile networks, known as 5G. Even larger investments have been made by industry and government in Europe and Asia. Virginia has unique research and innovation strengths in this area, including testbed facilities and some of the top communications researchers in the world.

The United States has long been a global leader in cybersecurity, creating an opportunity for CCI to help guide the deployment of secure 5G and the vision for the next generation of mobile networks (NextG). CCI is a member of the NextG Alliance, a major industry-led effort in mapping out a North American vision for NextG, providing us a great opportunity to transition our research into the standardization process to become part of the communications network we all use.

Some key research areas that are part of this theme include:

  • Open interfaces and standards
  • Virtualization and network disaggregation
  • Integration of cyber physical systems
  • Quantum communications
  • Secure and flexible spectrum

Securing Human-Machine Interactions (Social Cybersecurity)

Recent evolution in artificial intelligence, cyber physical systems, and communications are leading to a world where humans and autonomous machines increasingly interact. 

At CCI, we view cybersecurity as intrinsically cross-disciplinary and devise solutions that lead to secure, resilient, and harmonious interactions between people and robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, and other cyber physical systems. Our research focuses on the technological challenges in securing this enhanced digital world experience, in close collaboration with experts from the social sciences, life sciences, health sciences, law and humanities.

Key research areas include:

  • AI Assurance
  • Hacking humans
  • The metaverse
  • Security and privacy for embedded devices
  • Ethical cybersecurity


As AI systems become ubiquitous, trust and assurance in these systems is imperative. CCI’s AI Assurance team is a multi-institution, interdisciplinary research effort that aims to advance knowledge around the trust and assurance of AI systems. CCI is building the research infrastructure and future workforce needed to meet new challenges and opportunities in this space.

CCI is building unique research infrastructure for use by CCI partners across Virginia. This includes testbeds that serve as common platforms for advanced research, development, and technology demonstration, increasing competitiveness of Virginia’s researchers and accelerating commercialization and economic development. Learn more about the CCI xG Testbed.