Did you know that humans have been keeping time for 5,000 to 6,000 years? The ancient Egyptians were the first to tell time by using obelisks as primitive sundials, while the first mechanical clocks were invented in Europe in the 14th century. This shows how important time is to human beings and in the running of the world.
NTP (network time protocol) sounds like a new thing but it has been there since the emergence of the internet. Most people who work in companies have been using NTP unknowingly whether it’s the WIFI wall clock or the network time server in your computers. NTP is a software algorithm that keeps all computers in a company synchronized in terms of time. Without it, every computer would have a different time depending on the user’s watch.
Importance of NTP
- Synchronizing different time zones: Some companies have branches across the world that work harmoniously. Some conduct businesses with other international businesses that are in a different time zone. The only way to communicate smoothly is to have synchronized time no matter which part of the world the computers are in. Since computer transactions rely on time stamps, you don’t have to worry about the time discrepancy if you have an NTP clock server because the time will be the same from both sides of the world.
- Prevent hacking: When there is a time discrepancy, it is easy for hackers and malicious malware to infiltrate your system and steal data. A network time clock plays a huge role in preventing such attacks. On the rare occasion that such an attack takes place, the network time server will have an accurate trail of exactly when it happened and how so it will be easy to track.
- Prevent loss of data: Again, timestamps are the only sure way to tell that a transaction happened. If different computers have different timestamps, the server will be confused which will lead to data duplication or loss of data. The system relies heavily on accurate timestamps to store data and approve transactions.
- Prevent loss of money: Some industries such as banking and security need network time clock more than others. Unthinkable chaos would occur if a banking system didn’t have synchronized time because someone can withdraw the same amount of money several times without being noticed due to the time difference. Security systems like CCTV cameras and speed traps also rely on the network time clock for security purposes. If an unfortunate incident occurs, it is only possible to know when and who it was if the company had a reliable NTP network time server.