Faulty clocks impact business continuity and security
Computer clocks are notorious for drifting. They are typically based on inexpensive oscillator circuits or battery backed quartz crystals and can easily drift seconds per day, accumulating significant errors over time. With increasing distributed computing and disaster recovery, business continuity and security compliance interdependence on network infrastructures, having many clocks continuously drift apart puts the network infrastructure and the applications that run on it at risk. In particular, network operations and application related activities are most susceptible to problems related to the lack of time synchronization.
Network operations require time synchronized information to ensure optimal network performance. Often it is not until there is a problem that the lack of time synchronization becomes a key factor in either a failure or the ability to recover from a disaster and troubleshoot security issues. In other instances, network processes will not function without time synchronization.
Key areas where time synchronization directly effects network operations are:
- Back up file consistency
- Log file accuracy, auditing & monitoring
- Network fault diagnosis and recovery
- File time stamps
- Directory services
- Access security and authentication
- Distributed computing
- Scheduled operations
- Real-world time values
At the same time there are more security requirements that need to be met. With mandated requirements like Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and ITIL, executive management is depending on you to have the right security policies and procedures in place.
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