Cybersecurity, Enterprise Security, Anomaly Detection, Machine Learning
I have been at Virginia Tech since 2010, where my major field of interest is using machine learning to make security decisions in complex situations. The focus of my research is providing multi-level security protections for large organizations and enabling them to produce a quantitative and informed strategy for understanding their attack surfaces and proactively identifying potential threats.
The tool I developed — CryptoGuard — helps large software companies and Apache projects harden their cryptographic code. I have multiple U.S. patents for my inventions on network causal analysis for forensics and have authored a book Anomaly Detection as a Service that systematizes program anomaly detection.
Outside of Virginia Tech, I am involved in multiple inclusive excellence initiatives in the cybersecurity research community, including the National Science Foundation-sponsored Individualized Cybersecurity Research Mentoring Workshop and the Women in Cybersecurity Research Workshop.
Before coming to Virginia Tech, I received my Ph.D. from Brown University, two masters from Princeton University and Indiana University, Bloomington, and a bachelors from Peking University, China.
I first discovered a passion for this work ...
In grad school. But I've liked detective stories all along. Detecting and preventing cyber crimes and attacks seemed like a natural extension.
Something that excites me in my field ...
Technologies that have social impact and improve the quality of life.
My work impacts society ...
By creating new cyber defenses and making security problems less intimidating.
Groups or organizations that I am involved in ...
Association for Computing Machinery.
Honor or award I am most proud of ...
The best is yet to come.
I see the future in my field ...
More deployment-related research and addressing real-world cybersecurity issues with data science and automation.
I wish I invented ...
The microwave oven.
Words of encouragement to an aspiring inventor ...
Don't be afraid of thinking differently from others. Embrace your uniqueness.
My favorite quote ...
"Convert your radical ideas into products"
If I had a superpower, it would be ...
[To be] anxiety free
In my free time ...
I watch a lot of TV.
Last article I read ...
The wikipedia biography of Keigo Higashino, a brilliant and productive Japanese mystery author.
The best part of working at Virginia Tech ...
There is no traffic!
Redirect ItemA Tool for Hardening Java Crypto , redirect
Researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) say the vulnerability checking software they developed is mature, and nearing deploymentDate: October 2020
Redirect ItemUpcoming Webinar and Open Access Article by Dr. Danfeng (Daphne) Yao: 18 September 2019 , redirect
Webinar Topic: "Data Breaches and Multiple Points to Stop Them" Presented by Dr. Danfeng (Daphne) Yao and based on the open access article: "Privacy-Preserving Detection of Sensitive Data Exposure,”published in IEEE Trans. Information Forensics and Security"Date: October 2020
Article ItemDanfeng ‘Daphne’ Yao reappointed CACI Faculty Fellow of Computer Science , article
A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2010, Yao has made significant contributions to the field of cybersecurity.Date: August 2019
Article ItemDaphne Yao recognized for outstanding scientific contributions to computing , article
Yao is one of 49 Distinguished Members of the Association for Computing Machinery being recognized for outstanding contributions to the field of computer science. The 2018 Distinguished Members are exemplars for their peers and represent ACM’s worldwide geographic reach.Date: December 2018