When it comes to synchronizing time across network devices, the many free internet-based public time servers available can initially seem like an attractive option for your business. If such time servers exist, why should any organisation pay for an alternative with the same purpose? As is often true, the free option is usually far from the best, and there is a reason why an increasing number of customers are coming to Bodet to purchase accurate and reliable dedicated NTP(Network Time Protocol) time servers.
Disadvantages of internet time servers
The advantages of public time servers unfortunately begin and end with them being free. Additionally, their use comes at the cost of one major disadvantage that most businesses are now more aware of than ever: security.
In order to utilise internet time servers, you need an open UDP 123 port, which must be opened in your firewall. This makes your local network, and thus your business, vulnerable to both viruses and increasingly-prevalent DDoS attacks.
Leaving this port in your firewall open is like leaving a window open in your house. It exposes your organisation to additional security risks, and obviously the longer it’s open, the more chance there is of a threat disrupting the continued operation of your business.
What makes the security issue worse is that you have no control over the source of this time signal. Internet time servers are often operated by organisations such as universities. Not only are such institutions often the target of network security attacks themselves, but they are also not beholden to those using their time signal for their own internal network security practices. Nor are they for providing any assistance in the event that your business is affected by a virus originating from them.
Free services like this are ironically the very definition of ‘buyer beware’; not only are you leaving a window open in your house, you’re actually inviting something from an untrusted source inside. Think of it as similar to clicking a link in an email from a stranger.
Although the price tag is initially alluring, internet time servers can end up costing your company a high price. With your network compromised, minutes, hours and even days of disrupted business operation soon add up, and that’s without the expenditure of fixing the security issue itself. By then, it will be too late for an easy solution and the loss will be far greater than the cost of an NTP time server.
Advantages of dedicated NTP time servers
When it comes to network time synchronization, dedicated NTP time servers eclipse internet time servers by offering your business a complete package, ensuring not only security, but far greater accuracy and reliability.
Our customers, will tell you that they can rely on our Bodet NTP Time Servers to provide them with an uninterrupted and highly accurate time source for their network, all whilst maintaining its security.
When you purchase an NTP time server from Bodet, you buy a solution that operates within your firewall. This eliminates the need for exposure to potential vulnerabilities, and the reliance on something out of your control.
Does a dedicated NTP time server offer value to your business?
Cybercrime is on the increase, even more so as a result of the global pandemic, and it’s no longer just the bane of high-profile organisations. A wide range of companies are now being targeted almost randomly, and attacks via Network Time Protocol (NTP) vulnerabilities are more prevalent than ever.
Although you can’t prevent these attacks, you can make sure you’re doing all you can to protect your business from this constant threat. Just as you might not want to leave a window open, you might also consider it prudent to utilise preventative security measures for your building. A dedicated NTP time server not only provides highly accurate time, but is intrinsically designed to ensure network security, enabling the continued operation of your business. This is just not something that internet time servers can offer.
So, does a dedicated NTP time server offer value to your business? For the full compliment of security, accuracy and reliability which no other solution can provide, yes. Perhaps when it comes to security though, its true value is more a question of what the cost of not having one would be.