Technology

Protect AI Raises $35 Million to Safeguard Machine Learning Code


Seattle-based startup Protect AI has recently secured $35 million in funding to expand its groundbreaking platform that protects machine learning code. The company’s software aids businesses in monitoring and safeguarding various components of their machine learning infrastructure. Protect AI primarily focuses on regulated industries such as finance, healthcare, life sciences, energy, government, and technology, helping them mitigate the risks associated with rapid AI adoption.

As the popularity of AI grows in the business world, executives feel compelled to incorporate it into their product lines. However, the rapid adoption of AI systems poses risks for businesses, and Protect AI CEO Ian Swanson stresses the importance of employees keeping up with the technology. A study by KPMG revealed that only 6% of organizations have dedicated teams to evaluate and implement risk mitigation strategies for generative AI, leading to a lack of readiness in protecting AI infrastructure.

With artificial intelligence becoming increasingly prevalent, companies of all sizes face growing cyber attacks. McKinsey and Co. predicts that global spending on cybersecurity services by businesses will reach $100 billion by 2025. Cyber attacks on AI systems can have severe consequences, putting intellectual property and code at risk. Protect AI’s mission is to shield businesses from the catastrophic effects of cyber attacks by identifying and fixing flaws in their machine learning infrastructure.

Protect AI’s flagship product, AI Radar, is a comprehensive system that monitors and protects an organization’s machine learning supply chain. It helps businesses manage and keep track of various components, including operations software, platforms, models, data, services, and cloud hardware. Similar to the routine upkeep of a car, regular inspections and adjustments are necessary to ensure peak efficiency and safety.

The effectiveness of Protect AI’s platform has been proven through its discovery of flaws in widely used platforms such as MLflow. By promptly disclosing its findings, Protect AI compelled MLflow to release a patch for the identified security hole. This real-world scenario emphasizes the importance of monitoring AI systems and implementing preventative measures.

Competing in the rapidly developing field of AI cybersecurity, Protect AI faces stiff competition from well-funded startups like Hidden Layer, Robust Intelligence, and CalypsoAI. However, Protect AI stands out by providing businesses with a comprehensive approach to AI protection, covering the entire machine learning supply chain.

Protect AI’s success is attributed to its talented team, led by CEO Ian Swanson, a seasoned entrepreneur with extensive experience in technology and AI. The company’s funding round was led by Evolution Equity Partners, with participation from existing investors and Salesforce Ventures, raising a total of $35 million. This significant investment positions Protect AI to continue its mission of safeguarding AI and ML software.

As AI becomes increasingly prevalent in the business world, the need for protecting AI and machine learning code from cyber threats becomes paramount. Protect AI’s platform offers a novel approach to address this need, ensuring the security and integrity of AI technologies as they become more important in regulated industries and beyond. With its recent funding, Protect AI is well-equipped to continue its mission of protecting AI systems and assisting businesses in maintaining robust defense against cyber attacks.

First reported on GeekWire

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Protect AI?

Protect AI is a cyber security startup based in Seattle, focused on providing a groundbreaking platform to protect machine learning code. Their software helps businesses monitor and safeguard various components of their machine learning infrastructure.

What industries does Protect AI primarily serve?

Protect AI primarily caters to regulated industries, including finance, healthcare, life sciences, energy, government, and technology. These sectors often face unique risks associated with rapid adoption of AI technologies.

Why is protecting AI infrastructure crucial for businesses?

The rapid adoption of AI poses risks for businesses, making it vital to protect AI infrastructure. Cyber attacks on AI systems can lead to severe consequences, putting intellectual property and code at risk.

What is the significance of the recently secured $35 million funding?

The $35 million funding allows Protect AI to expand its platform and continue its mission of safeguarding AI and ML software. With increased resources, the company can provide comprehensive protection for businesses in a rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape.

How does Protect AI’s AI Radar work?

AI Radar, Protect AI’s flagship product, is a comprehensive system that monitors and protects an organization’s machine learning supply chain. It helps businesses manage and keep track of various components, ensuring peak efficiency and safety, much like the routine upkeep of a car.

What real-world impact has Protect AI demonstrated?

Protect AI has proven the effectiveness of its platform by discovering flaws in widely used platforms like MLflow. The company’s prompt disclosure of these findings led to the release of patches, emphasizing the importance of monitoring AI systems and implementing preventative measures.

How does Protect AI differentiate itself from competitors?

Protect AI stands out in the competitive AI cybersecurity field by offering businesses a comprehensive approach to AI protection. The company covers the entire machine learning supply chain, empowering businesses with robust defense against cyber attacks.

Who leads Protect AI?

Protect AI is led by CEO Ian Swanson, a seasoned entrepreneur with extensive experience in both technology and artificial intelligence. His leadership and expertise have contributed to the success and growth of the company.

What future developments can we expect from Protect AI?

With the recent funding, Protect AI is well-equipped to continue its mission of safeguarding AI systems. As AI becomes more prevalent in the business world, the company is likely to advance its platform to address emerging cyber threats and protect the integrity of AI technologies.

How can businesses benefit from Protect AI’s platform?

By leveraging Protect AI’s platform, businesses can ensure the security and integrity of their AI and machine learning code. The comprehensive protection offered by Protect AI enables businesses to mitigate the risks associated with cyber attacks and adopt AI technologies with confidence.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.