MS-ISAC® Charter


This MS-ISAC Charter is intended to be a living, breathing document that evolves over time based off the needs of MS-ISAC Members; amendments are enacted as a result of a majority vote by the Executive Committee Members.

MS-ISAC Overview and Mission

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), a program within the Center for Internet Security (CIS), is the focal point for cyber threat prevention, protection, response, and recovery for the nation’s State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) governments.

The mission of the MS-ISAC is to improve and facilitate the maturity of the overall cybersecurity posture of the nation’s SLTT governments through focused and collaborative cyber threat prevention, protection, response, and recovery.

The MS-ISAC provides a central resource for gathering information on cyber threats to critical infrastructure, in addition to bi-directional sharing of information between and among public and private sectors to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover from attacks on public and private Critical Infrastructure (CI). The MS-ISAC’s 24-hour Security Operations Center (SOC) monitors, analyzes, and responds to cyber incidents targeting SLTT government entities. The SOC provides real-time network monitoring and notification, early cyber threat warnings and advisories, and vulnerability identification and mitigation.

The MS-ISAC comprises representatives from SLTTs. The MS-ISAC has built and nurtured a trusted environment between and among our nation’s SLTTs by providing direct access to cybersecurity advisories and alerts, vulnerability assessments, and incident response for entities experiencing a cyber threat, secure information sharing through the Homeland Security Information Network (HISN) portal, tabletop exercises, a weekly malicious domains/IP report, multiple DHS initiatives, CIS SecureSuite Membership, MS- ISAC Webinars, and more.

The MS-ISAC works closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and is recognized as the national Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) for SLTT cyber readiness and response coordination.

The MS-ISAC also works closely with other partner organizations, such as the National Council of ISACs, the National Governors’ Association, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, and fusion centers, as well as other public and private sector entities to build trusted relationships, a community of collaboration, and to optimize the enhancement of our nation’s collective cybersecurity posture and maturity with time.

MS-ISAC Principles of Conduct

The MS-ISAC is operationally focused and achieves its actions through:

  1. Dynamic coordination.
  2. Diverse collaboration.
  3. Direct communication.
  4. Deliberate cooperation.

As part of MS-ISAC membership and in order to achieve a higher state of readiness and resilience to help protect our nation’s Critical Infrastructure, each MS-ISAC Member will be guided by the following principles of conduct in all of their MS-ISAC interactions:

  • Agree to the above-stated common Mission and thereafter Principles of Conduct.
  • Agree to the MS-ISAC’s philosophy of collaboration and cooperation by working collaboratively with all entities within their organization and other Member organizations to promote and enhance the collective MS-ISAC mission.
  • Agree to share appropriate information between and amongst peer MS-ISAC Members to the greatest extent possible within reason.
  • Agree to collaborate and share across the Critical Infrastructure sectors to reduce traditional stovepipes, minimize barriers, and foster our collective MS-ISAC mission.
  • Agree to recognize the sensitivity, and protect the confidentiality of the information shared and received in the MS-ISAC, taking all necessary steps, and at least the same or similar precautions to protect information from others, as is taken to protect your own sensitive information.
  • Agree to transmit sensitive data to other Members-only through the use of agreed-upon secure methods.
  • Agree to take all appropriate steps to help protect Critical Infrastructure.

MS-ISAC Organizational Membership

An organization shall be eligible for MS-ISAC membership provided the organization meets the following requirements:

MS-ISAC Membership

  1. An MS-ISAC Member is an SLTT government or a not-for-profit organization dedicated solely to supporting SLTT functions or organizations.
  2. MS-ISAC Members can include either the cybersecurity, physical security, or related departments of SLTT organizations.
  3. MS-ISAC Member organizations must accept and agree to the MS-ISAC Membership Terms and Conditions or execute an MS-ISAC Membership Agreement.
  4. A Member organization may terminate its MS-ISAC membership at any time upon written notice to the MS-ISAC.

MS-ISAC Individual Members

MS-ISAC Primary Members

  1. Each MS-ISAC Member Organization may appoint (2) two Primary Members to officially represent their Member Organization on the MS-ISAC. One of these Members must be the Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”) or any such individual identified as being responsible for cybersecurity duties for the SLTT.
    1. The role of the Primary Member is to serve as the primary contact for cybersecurity events, alerts, and issues affecting their organization along with being the decision maker for their organization’s membership and service requests.
    2. There shall be only 1 (one) designated voting Primary Member per State, Territory, County, or Tribe (“jurisdiction”). By default, this designated voting Primary Member will be the “CISO” or any such individual identified as being solely responsible for cybersecurity duties within their jurisdiction.

    MS-ISAC Individual Members

  2. MS-ISAC Primary Members may designate Individual Members within their organization to participate in MS-ISAC meetings, activities, and to have access to MS- ISAC data suitable for their organizational membership jurisdiction/sector. Individuals so designated are referred to as MS-ISAC Individual Members.
  3. MS-ISAC Primary Members may designate as many MS-ISAC Individual Members as it deems appropriate to participate in MS-ISAC meetings and events, and to have access to MS-ISAC data and collaborative activities.
  4. MS-ISAC Primary Members designate the level of access to MS-ISAC resources that Individual Members have and what information they receive:

    1. Member Level 1: Public information only.
    2. Member Level 2: Level 1 + MS-ISAC Member publications.
    3. Member Level 3: Level 1 and Level 2 + Organization-specific notifications.
    4. Member Level 4: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 + HSIN access.

  6. The MS-ISAC shall maintain a roster of all MS-ISAC Individual Members.

    MS-ISAC Elected or Appointed Members

  8. Any active and contributing Individual or Primary state, territory, county, city, K-12 or tribal Member may be elected by MS-ISAC voting Primary Members for their jurisdiction/sector to serve as an Executive Committee Member.
  9. Any active and contributing Individual or Primary Member from any jurisdiction/sector may be appointed to fulfill a vacant Executive Committee Member seat, including designated “At Large Seats”, or to fill a designated seat on a Subcommittee or Working Group by the MS-ISAC Chair in coordination with the MS-ISAC Executive Secretariat and the full Executive Committee.

    MS-ISAC Meetings

    MS-ISAC meetings are open to all MS-ISAC Primary Members and Individual Members, unless restrictions are otherwise published. The MS-ISAC Chair, in consultation with the MS-ISAC Executive Secretariat, will determine when records, artifacts, or minutes of MS-ISAC meetings may be released beyond the MS-ISAC membership.

    MS-ISAC Executive Committee, Subcommittees, and Working Groups

    MS-ISAC Executive Committee

  10. The mission of the MS-ISAC Executive Committee is aligned with the Mission of MS-ISAC; and, is to serve as ambassadors and trusted advisors of the SLTT community while ensuring the diverse needs of the MS-ISAC Membership as a whole, and the needs of its numerous community sectors are captured, prioritized, and effectively communicated to CIS, CISA, and other key partners.
  11. There shall be a sixteen (16) Member MS-ISAC Executive Committee to advise the MS-ISAC Chair and MS-ISAC Executive Secretariat on the strategic direction of the MS-ISAC, and to guide MS-ISAC Working Groups and Subcommittees towards the successful execution of their deliverables, activities, and initiatives.
  12. Any MS-ISAC active and contributing Individual Member or Primary Member may be nominated to serve on the Executive Committee.
  13. A “Call for Nominations” will go out to all MS-ISAC Members to either nominate or self-nominate an active and contributing Individual or Primary Member for an available State, Territory, County, City, K-12 or Tribal open seat in a given election year; only nominees with the appropriate jurisdiction/sector match shall be considered for a vote, verified through a vetting process completed by the Executive Secretariat and Chair.
  14. Active and contributing Individual or Primary State, Territory, County, City, K-12 or Tribal nominees are voted upon by the 1 (one) MS-ISAC Primary voting Member per organization within the SLTT segment of the vacant seat being voted upon.
  15. At-Large seats are appointed by the MS-ISAC Executive Committee Members and Chair.
  16. There may only be one Individual or Primary Member per MS-ISAC Member Organization elected to the Executive Committee at any one time.
  17. The MS-ISAC Executive Committee shall consist of:
    1. The MS-ISAC Chair (elected by and from the Executive Committee)
      1. The MS-ISAC Chair shall
        1. Call and preside over Executive Committee meetings.
        2. Approve Executive Committee meeting agendas.
        3. Direct the functions of the MS-ISAC Executive Committee.
        4. Ensure the Executive Committee acts in all manners with professional objectivity, ensuring appropriate focus and attention is afforded to all MS-ISAC SLTT segments and Member organizations.
        5. Guide the Executive Committee in providing strategic guidance regarding the MS-ISAC and SLTT communities to the senior executive leadership of CIS, DHS/CISA, and other key partners as necessary.
        6. Initiate Executive Committee subcommittees to research, investigate and inform the Executive Committee of relevant MS-ISAC Membership and SLTT community matters.
        7. Cast the tie-breaking vote when the Executive Committee’s voting quorum is equally divided.
    2. 7 (Seven) Members from state/territory government Member organizations.
    3. 5 (Five) Members from local government Member organizations of which:
      1. 2 (two) will be from the County jurisdiction.
      2. 2 (two) will be from the K-12 sector.
      3. 1 (one) will be from the City jurisdiction.
    4. 2 (Two) Members from Tribal government Member organizations.
    5. 2 (Two) Members from any SLTT government Member organizations to serve as At-Large seat incumbents of which:
      1. The Executive Committee Members and Chair appoint SLTT Members to the At-Large open seats in a given election year, after deliberation and a consensus vote is reached. The vote is facilitated by the Chair, and includes votes from a quorum of Executive Committee Members.
      2. The At-Large seat terms are 1 (one) year.
  18. Elected MS-ISAC Executive Committee Member terms shall be 3 (three) years, during which any Executive Committee Member may serve a term as MS- ISAC Chair for a 2 (Two) year term. In the case where the MS-ISAC Chair’s Executive Committee Membership term expires, the Chair must seek and be elected for continued Executive Committee Membership or forfeit the remainder of the term as MS- ISAC Chair.
  19. All Executive Committee seat terms are aligned to the federal fiscal year, which starts October 1st of a given year (10/01/XX) and ends September 30th of a given year (09/30/XX).
  20. MS-ISAC Executive Committee Members will be voted in by a majority of the votes received as follows:
    1. The designated 1 (one) voting Primary Member per Member organization for the MS-ISAC State and Territorial Member organizations will vote for State and Territorial Executive Committee vacant seat nominees.
    2. The designated 1 (one) voting Primary Member per Member organization for the MS-ISAC Tribal Member organizations will vote for Tribal Executive Committee seat nominees.
    3. The designated 1 (one) voting Primary Member per Member organization for the MS-ISAC  County Member organizations will vote for County Executive Committee seat nominees.
    4. The designated 1 (one) voting Primary Member per Member organization for the MS-ISAC K-12 Member organizations will vote for K-12 Executive Committee seat nominees.
    5. The designated 1 (one) voting Primary Member per Member organization for the MS-ISAC Local City Member organizations will vote for City Executive Committee seat nominees.
    6. Only MS-ISAC Executive Committee Members will vote for the MS-ISAC Chair.
    7. Only MS-ISAC Executive Committee Members will vote for the 2 (two) at Large seats which will have a 1 (one) year term.
  21. If an Executive Committee Member vacates their seat prior to the end of their term, a replacement for the vacated seat will be selected from a list of appropriate candidates provided to the MS-ISAC Chair by the MS-ISAC Executive Secretariat, and the vacated seat shall be filled by appointment of the MS-ISAC Chair following notice and review of the full Executive Committee.
  22. The Executive Committee will vote on matters brought to its attention or identified within its deliberations. Each Committee Member will have one vote on matters brought forth by the MS-ISAC Chair for a Committee vote. The MS- ISAC Chair guides the facilitation of votes, but does not vote unless there is a required tie breaking vote.
  23. The Executive Committee will meet by phone/webcast or in-person or as otherwise determined by the MS-ISAC Chair and Executive Secretariat. Unless the Committee is meeting in an executive session, meetings may be attended by MS-ISAC staff and invited guests. Closed session Executive Committee meetings are restricted to Executive Committee members and, as deemed necessary by the MS-ISAC Chair, MS-ISAC Executive Secretariat support. Executive Committee Member attendance at meetings cannot be delegated to other individuals in their organization. If an Executive Committee Member repeatedly is absent from the Executive Committee meetings, then the Chair may review their attendance and absence records, which is tracked by the Executive Secretariat, and could terminate their service under the Executive Committee as a result, but only after due diligence and a direct conversation with the Member.
  24. Executive Committee Members are ambassadors of the MS-ISAC who promote and support the MS-ISAC, its Members, and its collective mission by participating in activities of the MS-ISAC and by encouraging other Members to actively participate in the MS-ISAC.
  25. Executive Committee Membership requires active participation, cooperation, and collaboration in order to oversee the MS-ISAC mission. Committee Members must maintain active participation in Committee meetings and responsiveness to correspondence requiring their review and response. Committee Members may be subject to removal from their position by the MS-ISAC Executive Secretariat in coordination with the MS-ISAC Chair as a result of a sustained pattern of nonparticipation and nonengagement.

    Subcommittees and Working Groups

  26. There shall be a standing subcommittee of the MS-ISAC Executive comprised of one representative of each key or critical infrastructure or major community segment of the SLTT Community maintaining significant Member representation within the MS-ISAC (such as but not limited to K-12, Higher Education, Public Utilities, Public Health, Emergency/First Responders, Judicial Entities, Maritime/Port Authorities, Water and Waste Water Treatment, etc.). This Steering Committee shall meet as often as is prescribed by the Executive Committee to conduct such activities as necessary to apprise the Executive Committee of the unique interests and requirements of the diverse segments of the MS-ISAC Membership, and to conduct research, coordination, and other appropriate working group activities designed to enhance the value of MS-ISAC Membership and the quality and relevance of MS- ISAC capabilities for the diverse segments of the SLTT Community.
  27. The MS-ISAC may establish working groups among the MS-ISAC Membership, or other such subcommittees reporting to the Executive Committee to conduct specific activities that are aligned to the overall vision and mission of the MS-ISAC and that benefit MS-ISAC Members and the SLTT community.
  1. The MS-ISAC shall maintain a roster of all MS-ISAC Primary Members.

MS-ISAC Executive Committee Emeritus Member

The MS-ISAC gains significant value, experience, knowledge, and continued synergy with Member(s) appointed to Emeritus status. Past MS-ISAC Members who served the MS- ISAC Executive Committee with outstanding leadership and consistent efforts now are honored in continuing their outstanding efforts and their passion in holding this status as an honor that supports the Mission of the MS-ISAC.

To obtain Emeritus Member status for the MS-ISAC Executive Committee, the individual must have been a Member of the MS-ISAC Executive Committee for a minimum of two- elected terms. This status is confirmed and appointed by the MS-ISAC Chair.

  1. The term of an MS-ISAC EC Emeritus Members is a 1 (One) year term approved by the MS-ISAC Chair and will be annually reviewed for renewal during the Executive Committee elections cycle.
  2. The Emeritus Members are not voting Members.
  3. Emeritus Members shall be active ambassadors for the MS-ISAC by promoting and supporting its mission, by participating in reporting and other activities of the MS-ISAC, and by encouraging other Members to participate in the activities of the organization.
  4. Emeritus Members will assist in providing the Executive Committee guidance and insight on all aspects of Executive Committee activity.

MS-ISAC Executive Secretariat

There shall exist an MS-ISAC Executive Secretariat, appointed by CIS leadership to provide the organizational coordination, governance assistance, and administrative and logistical support necessary to accommodate the MS-ISAC activities, guidelines, and responsibilities identified within this charter.

Document Management

Amendments made to this charter will be enacted in writing following a a majority vote from Executive Committee Members.

  • Original Charter Adopted October 2003
  • Updated version adopted September 2009
  • Updated version adopted March 2013
  • Updated version adopted May 06, 2014
  • Updated version adopted December 27, 2015
  • Updated version adopted September 24, 2018
  • Updated version adopted January 22, 2019
  • Updated version adopted August, 17, 2021
  • Updated version adopted April, 19, 2022
  • Updated version adopted July 19, 2022
  • Updated version adopted September 19, 2022
  • Updated version adopted April 28, 2023
    • Term aligned to federal fiscal year enacted by Executive Committee vote February 28th of 2023.
    • Local Seats on Executive Committee comprised of 2 County, 2 K-12, and 1 City; and, 1 of the 2 At-Large seats for 2023 will be reserved for a Local incumbent enacted by Executive Committee vote April 18th of 2023. 

MS-ISAC Executive Committee
What People are Saying:

"…MS-ISAC, a collaborative SLTT government-focused cybersecurity organization that significantly enhances SLTT governments' ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from cyber-attacks and compromises…"

- President Obama's Budget for Fiscal Year 2014  

“The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC)…allows the Federal Government to quickly and efficiently provide critical cyber threat, risk, vulnerability, and mitigation data to state and local governments.”

- DHS Secretary Napolitano, March 2013 remarks to Congress  

"MS-ISAC is a "911" like system for cyber incidents”

- The Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science, October 16, 2012, Cyber Security Advisory Committee Meeting