3. Security Breaches:
When networks are not synchronised log files are not recorded properly or in the right order which means that hackers and malicious users can breach security unnoticed. Many security software programs are also reliant on timestamps with anti-virus updates failing to happen or scheduled tasks falling behind. If your network controls time-sensitive transactions then this can even result in fraud if there is a lack of synchronisation.
4. Legal Vulnerability:
Time is not just used by computers to order events it is used in the legal world too. Contracts, receipts, proof-of-purchase are all reliant on time. If a network is not synchronised then it becomes difficult to prove when transactions actually took place and it will prove difficult to audit them. Furthermore, when it comes to serious matters such as fraud or other criminality a dedicated NTP server or other network time server device synchronised to UTC is legally auditable, its time can not be argued with!
5. Company Credibility:
Succumbing to any of these potential hazards can not just have devastating effects on your own business but also that of your clients and suppliers too. And the business grapevine being what it is any potential failing on your part will soon become common knowledge amongst your competitors, customers and suppliers and be seen as bad business practices.
Running a synchronised network adhering to UTC is not difficult. Many network administrators think that synchronisation just means an occasional time request to an online NTP time source; however, doing so will leave a system just as vulnerable to fraud and malicious users as having no synchronisation. This is because to use an Internet time source would require leaving a permanent port open in the firewall.
The solution is to use a dedicated NTP time server that receives a UTC time source from either a radio transmission (broadcast by national physics laboratories) or the GPS network (Global Positioning System). These are secure and can keep a network running to within a few milliseconds of UTC.