SIGs Framework

Definition and Acronyms

  • The FIRST Board of Directors
  • The FIRST Board SIG Liaison (Board SIG Liaison)
    A FIRST Board member appointed by the FIRST Board to manage SIG budgets and to liaise between the FIRST Board and the SIGs.
  • Charter
    The document defining the purpose of a SIG.
  • SIG Chair person / Co-chair
    A representative or representatives selected by the SIG who is responsible for leading the activities of that SIG as well as representing the SIG to the FIRST Board of Directors. This individual must be a member of a FIRST team or a Liaison Member.
  • SIG Participant
    An organization or individual that is a participant of the SIG

Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups exist to provide a forum where FIRST Members can discuss topics of common interest to the Incident Response community. A SIG is a group of individuals composed of FIRST Members and invited parties, typically coming together to explore an area of interest or specific technology area, with a goal of collaborating and sharing expertise and experiences to address common challenges.

Special Interest Groups define their own missions and goals, and serve as a forum of the FIRST Members to discuss technologies, challenges and solutions in specific areas of mutual interest, including hearing relevant presentations from SIG participants and Invited Guests. SIG meetings are free to build their own meeting schedule but are also encouraged to co-locate meetings with FIRST Conferences, Technical Colloquia or other events. The views expressed in connection with SIGs are those of the individual authors or disclosers themselves. Neither the SIGs nor First.Org, Inc. make any representations regarding the validity, utility, or Intellectual Property rights or other rights in connection with any statements or disclosures made. You are advised that you are solely responsible and liable for any use you may make of any such statements or disclosures.

SIGs can generate papers and publications for the industry covering their area of interest. While these papers and publications shall be distributed by the FIRST, they do not represent the official position of the FIRST members, or the FIRST itself. Any publication distributed by the FIRST shall include a cover page with the following statement:

This publication presents a discussion of technology issues considered in a Special Interest Group of the FIRST. The contents of this publication are presented to create discussion in the computer industry on this topic. and does not necessarily represent the official position of the FIRST organization.

Charter Process

A Motion to Charter a Special Interest Group is only in order at a FIRST Board meeting if all supporting background information and Proposed Charter are on the agenda and published to all Board members before the Board meeting. A SIG is chartered by a majority vote of the FIRST Board in accordance with the FIRST Bylaws.

[In order to allow the charter process to move along smoothly, Board members are allocated to liaison roles with the active SIGs and FIRST Board. This is a relationship to ensure that there's a Board member to whom members of the group can turn for SIG Charter related advice.]

Review process

The FIRST Board will review progress of all SIGs at least once per year. In the case of inactivity or incompatibility with the original charter or FIRST mission, the FIRST Board will then vote to determine if these groups should be continued, disbanded or possibly combined with more active groups. This review mechanism allows for reviewing the status of Special Interest Groups and taking some action when appropriate.

Motions to dissolve a Special Interest Group, or to modify the Charter of a Special Interest Group will only be decided at a FIRST Board Meeting if the intention was shared with the pertinent SIG Chair(s) two or more weeks before the meeting.

Special Interest Group Chairperson

A representative, selected by a SIG, who is responsible for leading the activities of that SIG as well as representing the SIG to the FIRST Board SIG Liaison and FIRST Board of Directors.

The Chairperson of a SIG is responsible for organizing the activities of that SIG, including:

  • Arranging meetings at times and places convenient for the SIG membership.
  • Announcing meeting arrangements to the SIG members, including initial agenda for the meeting. The Board SIG Liaison may send out the broaden announcement if being appropriate.
  • Encouraging participation of the FIRST membership as broadly and openly as possible.
  • Ensuring that summaries are recorded and are made available electronically to the entire SIG participants, preferably within two weeks after the meeting. Depending on the matters discussed, publicly available information may be redacted and some material may be removed.
  • Reporting on SIG activities to the FIRST SIG Liaison.
  • Assisting with creation of public relations statements in regards to the activities of the SIG. This may also include the possibility of representing the SIG in press articles.


SIGs may set their own meeting schedules. There is no requirement to meet every time FIRST members meet, such as FIRST Conferences or TCs, nor are they prevented from organizing meetings which are not co-located with FIRST events, provided that in every case the relevant meeting notice and reporting criteria are met. Practical travel considerations dictate that most SIG meetings will be co-located with other FIRST events. Meetings of the SIGs at FIRST events should be announced in advance by electronic mail, to the entire FIRST membership to ensure proper planning for facilities and to give the opportunity for interested parties to plan their travel appropriately.

FIRST Resource

FIRST shall provide the communication infrastructure for the SIGs. Internet mail shall be used for day-to-day discussion between SIG participants. FIRST shall be responsible for the maintenance of mailing lists for the various SIGs, and provide space on the FIRST website, wiki, or other required resources to promote and track SIG activity.


A SIG should strive to operate on a cost recovery basis in order to keep costs low for FIRST, but the FIRST Board may decide to waive this goal and fund SIGs that are not recovering cost. Funds collected by a SIG should attempt to cover any administrative expenses FIRST may incur while supporting the SIG.

All SIG revenues will be managed by the FIRST parent organization.

Each SIG will jointly work with the FIRST Board Liaison to create a yearly SIG budget which will be reviewed quarterly. By default, the size of SIGs budget will be equal to the amount of the SIG's funds held by FIRST along with projected SIG income for the next year. Any spending above that limit will be negotiated with the FIRST Board of Directors.


A SIG is entitled and encouraged to seek sponsors independently from FIRST in order to facilitate its activity. Sponsorship can be sought for either the SIG or FIRST activity. While seeking sponsorship it is possible to negotiate split sponsorship where a certain percentage will go towards a FIRST event and the remaining amount towards a SIG event. In all cases sponsorship will be collected and handled by FIRST.

If a specific SIG activity is sponsored then the sponsor has rights to place its logo on the corresponding SIG web page(s). If a FIRST activity is sponsored, the sponsorship must meet sponsorship requirements for the event in order to maintain the value for other FIRST sponsors. In the absence of sponsorship packages around an event, FIRST will strive to offer the sponsor a visible logo placement on the corresponding FIRST web page(s) as is appropriate.

View the SIG Proposal Checklist in DOCX format (21 KB)