ISD booth at PSA-TEC draws integrators’ attention

First Windows-based camera launched at ISC West
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WESTMINSTER, Colo.—Innovative Security Design (ISD) launched its netSeries—the first IP camera that uses Microsoft Windows as the base operating system—at ISC West in March, but a lot of PSA Security integrators were taking a good look at the product last week at the PSA-TEC conference.

PSA-TEC, sponsored by PSA Security, took place here May 5-10. ISD, a new IP camera company, is based in Irvine, Calif.

“The netSeries is the fourth camera that we’ve launched and the second major platform since January 2012,” Ian Johnston, ISD president and CEO, told Security Systems News.

Johnston said that a Windows-based camera is “simply a natural evolution of what modern IP cameras should be.” Why? Because “cameras today are really network servers that happen to have a lens attached to them.” 

Johnston said the netSeries camera is “more IT-friendly.” He pointed out that “Microsoft and Windows solutions are used in the vast majority of corporations, so it only makes sense that IP cameras should also use a Microsoft solution.”

IT departments want “cameras to be managed like any other computers that they deploy and maintain on their networks.”

The netSeries is ideal for an IT group that manages a lot of devices, and because the camera has the same operating system as other devices, it’s easier and cheaper to manage, Johnston said.

“The netSeries camera can join a corporate Windows domain and respect group security policies just like any other Windows computer on the network,” he said.

Johnston explained how the netSeries camera can fit into a corporate IT group’s identity management efforts. IT departments use a technology called Active Directory to control what computers, files and printers that workers can access. This access is “managed and policed when computers or users log into the Windows domain,” Johnston said. “When the camera joins the domain, it uses this service to know who is logging in and what security credentials they have.”

How is this helpful? “Instead of giving an employee the ‘root’ password to manage the cameras, they simply use their Windows username and password,” Johnston explained. “This way, if someone is promoted into the security group, or leaves the group, the HR and IT departments can simply update or revoke the user’s credentials. This results in a much more secure system and is far easier and cheaper to manage.”  

Asked about ISD’s relationship with Microsoft, Johnston joked that there’s “no formal relationship, we’re just good friends at this point in time.”

Other IP camera companies have said they’d make a Windows-based camera but ISD is the first to follow through. “We knew what fundamentally needed to be done and just did it,” Johnston said. ISD presented its prototype to Microsoft and “since that time, we have openly collaborated with Microsoft’s Global Security team.”

Johnston said that all products are available now and they’re made in the United States.