Press Releases

Time Synchronization Critical for High-Speed Trading Firms to Stay Compliant and Profitable in 2014

October 24th 2013 · 2 min read · hft, high frequency trading

AUSTIN – Oct 24, 2013 – To successfully execute on complex trading strategies and to stay in compliance, a firm must know the exact time that events happen, such as ticks, trades, and computed correlations. If a time stamp is off, it could be the difference between a successful trade and a debilitating business challenge. For the last 4 years, FSMLabs has provided some of the world’s leading financial trading firms software and hardware for high-precision time synchronization and distribution to prevent intentional and accidental time errors, manage compliance, and guard against malicious attacks. However, a large number of financial firms still do not recognize just how easily time can be compromised.

For financial institutions, time synchronization is imperative to providing an audit trail, staying profitable, and protecting against cyber crimes. Typically, reference time comes from GPS satellites. Yet, the networks in which the time is distributed and the computer systems that receive it are not instantaneous and can introduce delays that can cripple trading. In addition, a human error, such as a harmless misconfiguration or a deliberate sabotage, like GPS spoofing, can lose, corrupt, or radically delay time data, causing trading algorithms to misfire and compromising the audit trail of trades.

“The lack of industry knowledge about just how easily time distribution can be broken still surprises me,” said Victor Yodaiken, CEO, FSMLabs. “Organizations are either throwing a lot of money at ‘solutions’ that are not created for the enterprise, or they are simply unaware of the issue. It is critical that financial organizations take time synchronization seriously. With the threat of cyber attacks on GPS radio signals, combined with inevitable human error, and increasing regulatory demands, organizations need a time synchronization solution that will keep them out of the headlines and ensure they remain in good standing and profitable.”

FSMLabs’ TimeKeeper® software and hardware suite was specifically designed for financial institutions to protect against all types of time errors. The end-to-end solution uses multiple GPS sources connected to different antennas and network-time feeds to ensure time synchronization, monitoring, and management. TimeKeeper detects even subtle changes to time sources and rapidly switches to alternative sources. The solution also:

  • Synchronizes networks to the sub-microsecond range
  • Monitors and compares time sources to protect against network attacks and errors and ensure an auditable trace to document due diligence and forensics
  • Supports a range of technologies and both the NTP and PTP 1588 time protocols, ensuring minimal disruption to existing applications or IT systems
  • Improves speed to receive time data from operating systems
  • Minimizes time spent configuring, patching and reorganizing networks and fighting with solutions that were never intended for the enterprise

About FSMLabs

FSMLabs is a technology company specializing in time-related innovation. The firm’s flagship product is TimeKeeper, the software solution of choice for a growing number of high-speed trading firms for high-precision synchronization of time data. FSMLabs has more than 14-years’ experience in real-time operating systems and software for industries such as finance, avionics and robotics, where time is a mission-critical resource. The company is privately held and headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit

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