An IT Security SWAT Team chaired by Dr. Roger Terry during the 2002-2003 was charged with proposing a "cooperative approach to securing the university's information technology (IT) components." One recommendation made by the SWAT team in their March 2003 report was to establish a Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) to "provide services and support dedicated to preventing and responding to information/network security incidents."
At the same time, IT security incidents at K-State and around the nation and the world were on the increase, including well-publicized compromises of servers at two U.S. universities that resulted in the theft of private student data that included social security numbers. When combined with the increasing threat of cyberterrorism, an increasing number of system compromises, vulnerability probes, e-mail-borne malware, and denial of service attacks involving K-State computer systems, K-State found that action was necessary to protect its information and technology resources.
In that light, Dr. Beth Unger, the Vice Provost for Academic Services and Technology (VPAST) at K-State, established an interim SIRT in May 2003 to respond to security incidents over the summer and further develop the roles and responsibilities of a permanent SIRT, which was appointed in fall 2003 after review by the Dean's Council. Members of the SIRT represented each college and major administrative unit as appointed by the Deans, Provost Coffman, Vice President Rawson, and Vice President Krause.