Women in Innovation: Harriet Farlow, Mileva Security Labs

We interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries. This week we spoke to Harriet Farlow, CEO and Founder of Mileva Security Labs.

Tell us what you are working on.

Mileva Security Labs is an AI Security company. While many people are aware that cyber security is a considerable technical and geostrategic threat, many people are not aware that AI can also be attacked in ways which are unique, and not protected by traditional cyber security mitigations. At Mileva, we provide training to organisations on how to secure their AI systems, and we have just started building our first tech product.

 Why is innovation important to you?

Innovation is at the core of what we do because it enables us to stay ahead of emerging threats in the rapidly evolving field of AI security. There is very little information that companies can use to inform their AI security posture – most of it is found in research papers that are hard for data scientists or cyber security practitioners to implement. To do our jobs well, we necessarily need to innovate because lots of this work just hasn’t been done before! This also represents exciting new opportunities, because emerging fields are necessarily those where there aren’t already many traditional subject matter experts, which opens up space for new groups of people to make a difference – this is great for diversity and I already see more people from diverse backgrounds entering AI security, which thrills me! For example, everyone in our team is a woman.

What drives you to make a difference?

I worked in data science for six years before I encountered the field of AI security in 2021, and I couldn’t believe that most people building AI models had never been taught about AI security risks. At the time, there were already so many productionised models that could be vulnerable to these attacks, and this has only increased since then with the rapid adoption of large language models and generative AI. I know that if we don’t do anything about this now, AI security will supersede cyber security in becoming one of the world’s greatest technical and geostrategic threats. If I didn’t have this company, I would be working on it for free!

What are your goals for 2024 and beyond?

2024 has already seen us realise many big goals. We won over $100,000 in grant funding and hired another full time staff member. For the rest of 2024 we want to ensure we’re producing good quality research, making sustainable business decisions and fostering a great company culture, and continuing to build our foundations so that one day we can be the best AI security company in the world.

Do you have any advice for getting more women into innovation and entrepreneurship?

We just hired an absolutely incredible AI security researcher! We’re both heading to DEF CON later this year (the ultimate hacker conference) where our CEO Harriet will be speaking! DEF CON is a massive event in hacker culture so we’re thrilled we’ll both be going and representing Australia, women, and AI security in the hacker world.
Harriet was also interviewed for a series by Microsoft earlier this year, as one of the 14 AI security experts worldwide (photo attached).

Thanks for chatting Harriet and congratulations on everything you’ve achieved so far, we’re sure there’s more to come! Connect with Harriet on LinkedIn and check out Mileva Security Labs workshops here.