The time server blog

Discover articles about the time server and time synchronisation

Cybersecurity has become an increasingly prevalent issue, especially due to the high number of online attacks during the pandemic. Despite a surge in spending by many organisations to bolster their network security, there often remain overlooked elements which continue to be vulnerable. One such element is time synchronization.

NTP (Network Time Protocol) is a networking protocol which synchronizes clocks in computers and other electronic devices, either over the internet or local networks. It has been in continual use since its creation in the 1980s by Dr David Mills, a professor at the University of Delaware.

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.

It’s approaching the end of another day, and as the clock on the office wall shows 5pm, your staff pack up and leave. However, what if that clock isn’t accurate? As your employees go out the door, you notice that your computer clock shows 4.55pm, which is actually the correct time. Someone leaving five minutes early doesn’t seem like an important matter. However, this lost time soon adds up when you start to consider a few basic factors.

Distributing accurate time is a vital part of sustaining network infrastructure. It’s also a critical element of network security, both when it comes to the expiry dates on certificates and timestamped system logs used for troubleshooting.

In the healthcare sector, accurate time can be the important information that will make the difference between life and death. No matter the size or scope of your medical facility, time is used in many different processes and systems, and ensuring its precision will increase patient care and efficiency.

Most of us check the time throughout the day, whether it’s looking at our watch, our mobile phone, our computer or the clock on the office wall.

What we might not consider though is how accurate each of these sources are, and whether they all display the same time. If they differ by just a few minutes, it’s not likely to have much of an effect on our daily lives. However, there are some situations where clocks being inaccurate or out of synchronization by even a minute can cause major issues, such as a transaction failing, or enabling fraud to occur.

In many applications, including time synchronization, GNSS is now commonplace. The best known constellation is GPS. However, all these GNSS systems share a common vulnerability: the signals transmitted by these satellites are very weak. GNSS satellites operate from the Earth’s orbit. The transmitted signal is extremely weak when it reaches the earth’s surface. This low signal strength at the receivers makes GNSS use susceptible to intentional (malicious) or unintentional interference.

With the rise of the Internet and IT networks, many solutions today work over IP. Whether video surveillance, access control, or attendance time management, all this equipment uses IP technologies to communicate and operate. As with any network, time synchronization is essential, not only to ensure the proper functioning of monitoring systems, but also to ensure accurate and chronological timestamping of events.

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