Cyber Innovation Series 2022/23: Mindgard

Posted on: 31/01/2023

How can businesses secure their AI technologies against a rapidly-changing landscape of cyber security threats? This is the problem that Mindgard aims to address with its new cyber security software.

The expert team behind Mindgard is one of 15 finalists that have been selected to demonstrate their innovation at this year’s CyberASAP. Taking place on 22 February, the CyberASAP Demo Day showcases the most exciting ideas emerging in the world of cyber security.

Register here to join us.

About Mindgard

Artificial intelligence (AI) is big news. It has infiltrated every sector, with a global market size of $138.4 billion that’s predicted to reach over a trillion dollars by 2032. It’s an aggressively expanding market, and many AI technologies are delivering high commercial and strategic value within businesses.

But it’s these very businesses that are at risk. Such high-value technology leaves them vulnerable to adversarial attacks, causing digital IP theft, ransoming, data breaches, and further attack that’s not solvable by firewalls or encryption. This can result in loss of financial and market position, GDPR fines and reputational damage.

The biggest problem is that performing cyber risk assessment of AI technologies is difficult and expensive. It requires many dedicated years of training in AI and cyber. Any type of thorough assessment of AI takes six to nine months and a team of three or more people on massive salaries – and there just aren’t enough of them. Over 44% of businesses report hiring difficulties due to a cyber skills shortage and limited talent pool.

The other issue is that there’s currently no best practice around cyber security and AI, and the landscape changes so quickly.

Mindgard is a Deep Tech company which offers specialist cyber security B2B software and consultancy services for AI-enabled businesses. The technology has been developed at Lancaster University, using the project team’s specialist knowledge in cyber security and AI technology engineering.

The aim of Mindgard is to:

  • Provide a quick, intuitive, jargon-free software solution.
  • Allow users to rapidly design, analyse and report AI technology cyber risk against thousands of state-of-the-art attack scenarios.
  • Reduce the labour required to perform AI technology cyber risk analysis from months to just minutes.

Mindgard has been developed to speed up the process of AI assessment, compressing six to nine months worth of work into just 60 seconds. It works by running real threat scenarios and full stack attacks, leading to significant savings in time and cost.

Meet the Mindgard Team

Mindgard is being worked on by teams at  Lancaster University, led by Peter Garraghan, Professor of Computer Science and EPSRC fellow. Peter has a previous track record of working with big tech companies such as HP, Google, and BT, which has informed the direction of the startup.

Peter works alongside Professor Neeraj Suri, who holds a Distinguished Professorship and Chair in Cybersecurity at Lancaster University. Both Peter and Neeraj have a sustained track record in creating university spinouts. The wider team is made up of software developers, Business Development officers and PhD students, who have spent the last two to three years strengthening this research to make it commercially ready.

The team have developed software that works and delivers value and is now looking to investors to see the idea grow into a company in the first half of 2023. They already have interest from several investors, and anticipate that Mindgard could help the UK become a cyber powerhouse.

Meet them at our Demo Day

Join us on Wednesday 22 February 2023 and be among the first to preview the team’s innovation, alongside a whole host of exciting cyber products and services from leading UK academic teams. Hear their pitches and learn more about each project in this unique showcase of ready-to-commercialise cyber innovations.

Register here.

About CyberASAP

CyberASAP (Cyber Security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme) is the only pre-seed accelerator programme in the cyber ecosystem which provides expertise, knowledge and support to convert academic research into commercial products and services.

CyberASAP is funded by the UK Government Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN.

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