A Hidden Security Danger: Network Timing
sponsored by Symmetricom

Most anyone who uses a PC no doubt sees the little clock at the bottom of the screen,dutifully ticking off the minutes of the passing day. But chances are they don’to often think about the role that clock plays in the network to which the PC is attached.In fact, virtually every piece of equipment attached to a data network has a similar clock, although it may not actually show the time of day to anyone.

Until, that is, something goes wrong.Should a portion of the network go down,the clocks on every network device suddenly take on added importance.Administrators will turn to network management systems, which continuously collect log files from network devices, to try to determine what went wrong. That effort will be made far more difficult, if not futile, if the events depicted on the log files are not all working off the same, synchronized clock. If a router thinks the time is 12:05p.m. but an application server thinks it’s12:15 p.m., good luck to the network administrator responsible for figuring out what happened and when.

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