Protect AI, an AI-driven security company, raised over US$13.3m in a seed funding round co-led by Acrew Capital and Boldstart Ventures. The expanded investment will be used for product development and enhancing customer engagement with Protect AI’s security solutions.
Protect AI is one of the few security companies focusing entirely on developing security tools for AI systems and machine learning models that prevent malicious attacks and exploits. Its product line intends to assist developers in locating and resolving security flaws at various machine learning life cycle phases.
Ian Swanson, CEO of Protect AI, said that as AI advances and is applied to newer use cases, organizations require more robust security systems to recognize and combat threats surrounding their machine learning code. He added, “We have researched and uncovered unique exploits and provide tools to reduce risk inherent in [machine learning] pipelines.”
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There is no evidence of an increase in the intensity and frequency of AI cyberattacks, but Swanson believes that prevention is the key, as the predictions say otherwise. He said many code security solutions are incompatible with open-source coding environments like Jupyter Notebooks.
These vulnerabilities arise due to a lack of innovation on the part of security service providers, and Protect AI covers this gap. The company’s first product, NB Defense, is a security plugin designed for Jupyter Notebook. NB Defense scans Jupyter notebooks for any threats and provides workaround suggestions.
According to Swanson, Protect AI seed funding will be used to work with prominent AI development tools such as Amazon SageMaker, Azure ML, and Google Vertex AI Workbench in addition to Jupyter Notebooks.