HiddenLayer, a cybersecurity startup headquartered in Austin, Texas, has successfully secured $50 million in a Series A funding round. This financial boost aims to enhance the protection of an increasing number of AI models that enterprises are integrating into their operations.
Investors and Mission
The funding round witnessed participation from prominent names, including M12 (Microsoft's Venture Fund) and Moore Strategic Ventures. Other contributors included Booz Allen Ventures, IBM Ventures, Capital One Ventures, and Ten Eleven Ventures. Chris Sestito, the CEO and Co-Founder of HiddenLayer, emphasized the company's commitment to equipping security professionals with the necessary tools to adopt AI securely. He remarked, “AI's unparalleled rate of adoption fuels us to move even faster in achieving our mission.”
Innovative Security Solutions
HiddenLayer's offerings are not limited to mere theoretical solutions. The company has developed a suite of tools under its “MLSec” Platform, designed specifically to protect enterprise machine learning (ML) and AI models.
These tools function without accessing the models directly or compromising the proprietary data of clients. They operate by passively monitoring the performance and operations of enterprise ML/AI models and their associated applications in real-time. This continuous surveillance allows for the identification of vulnerabilities and provides recommendations for strengthening them. Additionally, the platform can detect malicious code injections and activate defense mechanisms to thwart attackers and contain any breaches.
The MLSec Platform also boasts a user-friendly dashboard that provides security managers with a comprehensive overview of the security status of their enterprise ML/AI models. This dashboard automatically ranks security issues and alerts based on their severity, facilitating efficient and timely responses. Moreover, it archives data essential for compliance, auditing, and reporting tasks that businesses might need to undertake.
To further support clients, HiddenLayer offers consultation services from its team of Adversarial Machine Learning (AML) experts. These professionals are well-versed in the latest security trends and emerging threats. They can conduct threat assessments, provide training for a client's cybersecurity and development operations teams, and execute “red team” drills to test the efficacy of the client's defenses.
Collaborations and Growth
Earlier this year, HiddenLayer entered into a strategic partnership with Databricks, a leading enterprise data lakehouse provider. This collaboration allows Databricks' enterprise clients to directly utilize HiddenLayer's MLSec Platform on their models hosted on Databricks' lakehouses.
HiddenLayer's inception was a direct result of a cyberattack that exploited machine learning code at Cylance, a previous venture of the founders. Recognizing the potential increase in such attacks due to the rising adoption of generative AI by enterprises, the founders established HiddenLayer. Today, the company is on a growth trajectory, having expanded its team fourfold in the past year. With the fresh capital from the Series A round, HiddenLayer aims to onboard an additional 40 staff members by the end of the year and further extend its clientele.