Cybercrime cost businesses a collective $2.7 billion in 2018 in the U.S. alone, per the FBI's annual Internet Crime Report.The global cost of cybercrime was $3 trillion in 2015; it will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021, according to the Cybersecurity Ventures Report.

The interconnected world we live in has its advantages and downsides. Increased connectivity has opened our lives, homes, and businesses to cyberattacks.

We are more vulnerable than ever to online fraud, scams, theft, and abuse. Stringent cybersecurity measures go hand in hand with increased law enforcement capabilities that are essential to safeguarding individuals and businesses.

Unfortunately, with technology on the rise, cybercriminals are adapting fast. They are continually looking to use new technologies and the darknet to target victims. The advent of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has made it harder for police to trace some monetary transactions.

Colorado law enforcement officers were among the latest in the force to get advanced darknet and cryptocurrency training from Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Cyber Crimes Center. Officers were trained to investigate crimes involving advanced technologies, learned how to dismantle darknet marketplaces, and thwart criminals.

They also learned to identify and take down illicit payment networks that are abetting the nationwide fentanyl crisis. Darknet transactions related to fentanyl smuggling and distribution were particularly highlighted.

HSI has been training officers on advanced methods to fight crime for over two decades now. In 2019, HSI employees have already trained more than 4,000 law enforcement on cybercrime investigations. Training sessions include investigative challenges and complexities that are associated with these sophisticated technologies.

Departments across the country are signing up for these advanced training sessions. Officers realize that they have to keep pace and stay on the cutting edge of technology to combat criminal activity and thwart operations that use cryptocurrency to launder money, commit financial fraud, carry out illegal trafficking, and distribute narcotics and other controlled substances.

These advanced darknet training sessions will help officers address the vulnerabilities created by the internet with state-of-the-art forensic techniques and cyber investigative methods.

It's not just in the U.S. that the police are getting trained in cryptocurrencies and darknet investigations. Training hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) across Asia shows officers how to incorporate these emerging tech investigations into law enforcement work.

As these technologies develop, officers need to learn how to use them and prevent their future misuse by organized crime operations.