FIRST - Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams

Published under CSIRT Cooperation

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The Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) consists of a network of individual computer security incident response teams that work together voluntarily to deal with computer security problems and their prevention. These teams represent government, law enforcement, academia, the private sector, and other organisations with justifiable interest as determined by the Steering Committee.


FIRST is a premier organisation and recognized global leader in incident response. Membership in FIRST enables incident response teams to more effectively respond to security incidents by providing access to best practices, tools, and trusted communication with member teams.

Mission Statement

  • FIRST is an international confederation of trusted computer incident response teams who cooperatively handle computer security incidents and promote incident prevention programs.
  • FIRST members develop and share technical information, tools, methodologies, processes and best practices
  • FIRST encourages and promotes the development of quality security products, policies & services
  • FIRST develops and promulgates best computer security practices
  • FIRST promotes the creation and expansion of Incident Response teams and membership from organisations from around the world
  • FIRST members use their combined knowledge, skills and experience to promote a safer and more secure global electronic environment.



Steering Committee


The Steering Committee is a group of individuals responsible for general operating policy, procedures, and related matters affecting the FIRST as a whole.


Board of Directors


The Board of Directors is a group of individuals responsible for general operating policy, procedures, and related matters affecting the First.Org, Inc., corporation as a whole.




The Secretariat serves as an administrative point for FIRST and provides a general contact for FIRST.


Member Teams


The incident response teams participating in FIRST represent organisations who assist an information technology community or other defined constituency in preventing and handling computer security-related incidents.




Individuals or representatives of organisations other than incident response or security teams that have a legitimate interest in and value to FIRST.


WG & Committees


FIRST Steering Committee establishes standing (permanent) and ad-hoc (temporary) committees in order to better achieve FIRST goals.


In November 1988, a computer security incident known as the "Internet worm" brought major portions of the Internet to its knees. Reaction to this incident was isolated and uncoordinated, resulting in much duplicated effort, and in conflicting solutions. Weeks later, the CERT Coordination Center was formed. Soon after, the United States Department of Energy formed the Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC) to serve its constituents.

Over the next two years, the number of incident response teams continued to grow, each with its own purpose, funding, reporting requirements, and constituency. The interaction between these teams experienced difficulties due to differences in language, time zone, and international standards or conventions. In October 1989, a major incident called the "Wank worm" highlighted the need for better communication and coordination between teams.

The FIRST was formed in 1990 in response to this problem. Since that time, it has continued to grow and evolve in response to the changing needs of the incident response and security teams and their constituencies.

By 2002, the Internet had grown from 60,000 host computer systems to 150 million in nearly all countries in the world (see Internet Domain Survey at the Internet Software Consortium). Many companies now rely on the Internet in their daily business transactions. Incident response and security teams continue to form around the globe, covering a range of constituencies from whole countries, to multi-national organisations. The FIRST membership consists of teams from a wide variety of organisations including educational, commercial, vendor, government and military.

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