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The IT landscape is constantly changing, and cybersecurity approaches and technology must move faster. As new computing platforms, devices, and applications are developed—from cloud computing to 5G communications to autonomous systems—the cybersecurity challenges evolve. Putting the nation’s most innovative minds to task to stay one-step-ahead of the cyber challenges of tomorrow presents an opportunity for increasing the economic growth of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

A survey of institutions of higher education in Virginia, along with more than 20 industry partners, found an opportunity in aligned industry interest and existing university capability in IoT, 5G communications, cyber physical systems security, data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. CCI will target this opportunity space.

The last decade of the social-mobile Internet is giving way to the next decade of the Internet of Things and the core technologies that will enable it such as 5G wireless. We seek to ensure that as these new technologies are developed, standardized, and deployed, they have the needed security features to ensure that the next generation of the internet and the ecosystems built on top of it are underpinned with systematic security and privacy safeguards.

In each epoch of the internet, security has been bolted on after new technologies experience major breaches, leading to patchy and poorly integrated security solutions. As we entrust our automobiles, factories, pacemakers, and energy distribution to the IInternet of Things, security must not be an afterthought.

Major Internet of Things technologies are emerging, and 5G wireless standards have taken shape. This is an ideal time to systematically integrate security into edge computing, network slicing, and the protocols and frameworks that will enable smart infrastructure. CCI will leverage a consortium of selected industry partners to build standards, ecosystems, prototypes, and testbeds and be recognized as a global leader in cyber physical systems security.