5 Things to Know About Network Time Servers and Firewalls

When it comes to business, time is money. A network time server within your firewall can make sure that your systems are properly in sync with the absolute correct time, in order to eliminate discrepancies that could cause problems and cost money. Often, the time clocks used by the average networking device, workstation, or server…

When it comes to business, time is money. A network time server within your firewall can make sure that your systems are properly in sync with the absolute correct time, in order to eliminate discrepancies that could cause problems and cost money. Often, the time clocks used by the average networking device, workstation, or server has been set by hand. That leads to each station having a slight discrepancy. Other times, the time is maintained by a device that allows the time to drift slightly each day. Even if it is only a second off, after a year, that second has exponentially grown, causing a large discrepancy between the reading and the actual time. For any business that hinges on accuracy, it is good to install a device to keep all systems correct.

1. File sharing

When operating a high-producing company with a number of staff, it is crucial to have the correct time and date encoded for shared files. If a modification is made, all those with access to that file need to know exactly when that change was done. The situation is complicated even more when a company has multiple offices in various time zones. The correct time is also necessary for most programs when secretly transmitting encoded documents from one user to another. Without the right time stamp, the program could fail to deliver the document.

2. Billing and bookkeeping

Often, billing systems hinge on good timekeeping through a network time server. Automated systems must have the correct time of services or products used in order to bill clients or pay staff. If a time stamp is drifting and the information used is not right, then the company can be over paying or under charging. When dealing with large billables or salaries, that small difference in time could mean thousands of dollars lost.

3. Time sensitive events

If your company performs high-level business that concerns on accuracy of time for tasks, you can not accurately do business without the correct time information provided by a time system. International calls, business deals, contracts, stock market trades, or other dynamic activities can all be adversely affected without a network time server. Even a lag of a few minutes could have the difference between success and loss.

4. System security

When issues arise with a breach in security or a system failure, accurate time stamps are key to associating events between networks. In today's business world, networks and work stations perform millions of tasks a day. If the time clock for each unit or system varies, it can be next to impossible to detect or diagnose problems. Accuracy is important wherever the situation in question is with devices in one office, or between multiple locations.

5. Email management

For busy offices in which each staff member sends and receives hundreds of emails a day, it is imperative to have the correct time stamp on communications. A network time server can provide the necessary accuracy. Without the correct stamp, communication can be confusing and errors can be made, especially when storing the high volume of important communications a busy office receives in a day. Many industries, such as healthcare, finance, and oil and gas are under strict government regulations that often require various levels of communication compliance. With erring time stamps, it could lead to an incidental loss or misuse of sensitive information and a violation of those regulations.