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Improving Technical Security 31 August 2017

New Security Mechanisms for Network Time Synchronization Protocols

By Karen O’Donoghue

As evolving security concerns have prevailed, the network time synchronization protocol community has been actively engaged in the development of improved security mechanisms for both the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and the IETF Network Time Protocol (NTP). These activities have matured to the point where this year should see the finalization of the first new security mechanisms for time protocols in ten years. This paper provides an overview of the two solutions being developed, compares and contrasts those solutions, and discusses relevant use cases and deployment scenarios.

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