Joe Honey

Bridging the Dark Web Investigation Skills Gap with The Dark Web Academy

Joe honey, one of the instructors of the dark web academy, provides and overview of the course.

introducing: the dark web academy

The first months of 2024 have already seen major enhancements to the Searchlight Cyber dark web intelligence platform. We added AI-powered language translation to our data, integrated the MITRE ATT&CK Framework into our dark web monitoring solution, and today announced the launch of The Dark Web Academy – a new training program designed to build dark web knowledge and technical investigation skills using our dark web investigation platform, Cerberus.

the dark web investigations skills gap

Searchlight works with law enforcement and cybersecurity professionals globally to empower them with the best dark web investigation tools to fight back against criminals. However, we’ve learned from our customers that the dark web is complex to navigate – even for experienced investigators.

The Dark Web Academy was developed to address the market demand for guidance on investigating the dark web – which is an increasing requirement for those in law enforcement and cybersecurity roles.

For law enforcement, knowledge of the dark web is important to investigate, understand, and disrupt criminals using hidden sites for illicit means. For security professionals, it is about increasing visibility into the threat landscape, gaining the ability to spot emerging threats that could impact their organization, and understanding how they can take action.

Searchlight’s seven years of experience of working with law enforcement and cybersecurity professionals, and nearly 20 years of dedicated research into the dark web, have given us a lot of experience, expertise, and best practices we can share with our customers.

Who will benefit from the dark web academy?

The course has been designed to add value to anyone interested in or actively investigating the dark web using Cerberus, but it’s specifically targeted at:

  • Law enforcement investigators
  • Threat intelligence analysts
  • SOC analysts
  • Incident Response specialists

It’s aimed at investigators of all levels – whether this is their first time looking into the dark web or the 100th, we will provide useful insights, tips, and tricks to help them get more Cerberus and their investigations. The course is equivalent to eight CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credits.

the dark web academy course overview

In each session, we welcome attendees from all aspects of law enforcement and threat intelligence to help them improve their knowledge of the dark web and how to use our dark web investigation solution Cerberus to achieve their goals. The Dark Web Academy includes:

A technical overview of the dark web

Beginning with the fundamentals of exactly how the dark web works and – most importantly – where it fits into investigative and threat intelligence use cases.

How to access the dark web for investigations

Including how to safely investigate on the dark web both from a cybersecurity and legal perspective. Navigating the dark web has inherent risks and it is important that investigators are safeguarded from threats and dangerous content.

Navigating the dark web

The dark web isn’t indexed and our experience has shown us that investigators often struggle to identify where to begin to start their investigations. This part of the training covers contents of the dark web including hacking forums, marketplaces, ransomware leak sites, and more – all informed by Searchlight’s threat intelligence.

How to use Searchlight Cyber’s tools for dark web investigations

Through the entire course we weave in practical exercises using Cerberus – our dark web investigator platform – to help cement learning and make sure participants gain hand-on experience using real-world examples.

instructor-led training

It is our firm belief that pre-recorded, video, or platform-based learning is no substitute for instructor-led, live practical training. The Dark Web Academy is delivered by Searchlight’s threat intelligence engineers, which means that participants are gaining instruction from those that have hands-on, day-to-day experience in gathering intelligence from the dark web. They also bring proven expertise from backgrounds across cybersecurity, the military, and law enforcement.

The instructor-led training approach also means that participants are able (and encouraged) to ask questions throughout the course and get specific answers for challenges they may be facing in their roles.

The other benefit of our instructor-led approach is that the content is always evolving – whether this is due to a change in criminal behavior on the dark web, new technical developments, or taking on board feedback from previous cohorts.

How the last batch of attendees reviewed our course:

If you or your team are making the dark web investigation a priority in 2024, this training course will give you all the tools you need to quickly, easily and safely access the information you need and achieve your threat intelligence goals.