KPMG Spins Out Cranium to Tackle AI Security

KPMG LLP today announced the spin-out of Cranium, a cutting-edge software company that enables organizations to secure their artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Based in Short Hills with 30 employees, Cranium was developed within KPMG’s startup incubator – KPMG Studio – and in collaboration with AI Security experts in the firm’s Advisory practice.

“While generative AI has taken headlines by storm in recent months, AI and AI security have long been a focus for KPMG, and with advancements in AI and cyber attacks increasing, our KPMG Studio team identified a real market need for Cranium,” said Cliff Justice, KPMG U.S. national leader, enterprise innovation. “Cranium is KPMG Studios’ inaugural spin-out and exemplifies the firm’s commitment to cultivating innovative solutions that solve complex client challenges.”

“Awareness and adoption of AI solutions across the enterprise is at a fever pitch with generative AI models showcasing the ‘magic’ of AI to the general public. In tandem with this acceleration, major regulatory bodies are moving swiftly to set guidelines for organizations deploying AI systems,” said Jonathan Dambrot, founder and CEO, Cranium and former KPMG partner. “The inherent nature of AI models learning from new inputs creates a unique set of attack methods that require novel security techniques to account for these threats. Cranium brings visibility, trust, and a new level of security to cybersecurity and data science teams when it comes to the entire AI ecosystem of any organization.”

To keep data and systems secure, Cranium provides an end-to-end AI security and trust platform that operates by mapping the AI pipelines, validating its security, and monitoring for adversarial threats. The technology integrates with existing environments without interrupting the way organizations work to test, train, and deploy their AI models. In addition, experts developed a playbook that security teams can use alongside the software to protect their AI systems and adhere to existing U.S. and EU regulatory standards.

“As increased sophistication and feasibility of attacks drive organizations to safeguard their AI, our goal is to empower companies by providing them with a solution to manage AI security threats in real-time,” said Kyle Kappel, KPMG U.S., principal, cyber security services. “KPMG’s AI Security framework, combined with the Cranium platform, can be tailored to meet the requirements and capabilities of different organizations to deliver an effective AI security strategy.”

Cranium was developed within KPMG Studio, the firm’s incubator and accelerator program that grows internal and external early-stage ventures into high-growth businesses. Led by Anu Puvvada, the portfolio consists of innovation ventures ranging from generative AI, cybersecurity, new business models, HR, people technology, Web3, the metaverse, and more.

Both KPMG and premier cybersecurity investor SYN Ventures provided seed funding and have taken minority stakes in Cranium enabling the team to develop a future roadmap to support and drive value for customers.

“Cranium is emerging into the cybersecurity market at exactly the right time,” said Jay Leek, Managing Partner at SYN Ventures. “As enterprises adopt and deploy AI models, the use of sensitive data and the strategic value of these models to a business requires that enterprise grade security tools be used in tandem. The company’s innovative platform is positioned to instill trust in AI and secure AI use across all industries.”

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