Show 15 – Saving The Web With Dinky Putt Putt Firewalls

What You’ll Hear

This week, security author, trainer, conference speaker, and consultant Raven Alder adds her bright star to the Packet Pushers constellation.  Her wit and wisdom are joined by data center geek and repeat guest Josh O’Brien, along with regulars Greg and Ethan.  Dan was sidelined unexpectedly, but plans to be back next time.

  • They say power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Pushers ponder this maxim as Chairman, CEO, and El Presidente Mark Hurd gets the oust at HP for certain indiscretions. Was he an extraordinary leader, or just a corporate figurehead?  Will HP’s stockholders miss him?  We think the board would have kept him if he mattered, indiscretions notwithstanding.
  • Australian transportation giant RailCorp announces plans to migrate from ATM to IP.  A stunned silence ensues, and then we burst into discussion about why old equipment lives longer than it should.
  • Cisco’s ACE Web Application Firewall gets two in the hat.  While no one mourns the passing of this unloved product, we wonder why Cisco opted to leave the WAF market.  Security strategy, where are thou? Thanks for the tip, Ivan.
  • Raven disappears down the rabbit hole, and the Pushers follow her to Web Application Firewall wonderland.  This deep-dive discussion explains what a WAF is, who needs to deploy a WAF, where a WAF fits in a defense-in-depth strategy, common WAF deployment mistakes, and why you need Raven on speed-dial.


Follow the Packet Pushers on Twitter (@packetpushersGreg @etherealmindDan@rovingengineerEthan @ecbanks) and send your queries and comments about the show to  We want to hear from you!

Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks, CCIE #20655, has been managing networks for higher ed, government, financials and high tech since 1995. Ethan co-hosts the Packet Pushers Podcast, which has seen over 3M downloads and reaches over 10K listeners. With whatever time is left, Ethan writes for fun & profit, studies for certifications, and enjoys science fiction. @ecbanks
Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks
  • TJ

    Great podcast, as expected :).

    Quick comment: Kudos for bringing up IPv6 – I agree that IPv6 presents a huge shift in our 'modern' networks, that will pose problems for many. Largely, the problems will have more to do with the people than the gear as long as the gear is fairly modern (or will be tech refreshed w/i the next year or so). I cannot harp on the planning and learning aspects of this enough …

    Keep up the great work,
    Disclaimer: IPv6 is very relevant to my career, and that is by choice :).

  • JR

    Really good podcast today, especially the WAF discussion.


  • Dhana

    Echoing above poster's comment. Loved this podcast! I'm rapidly coming up to the current session. A bit worried about what I'll listen to on the commute to work once I've listened to the back catalogue!

  • Rod

    Great podcast! Yes after almost a year you still get people checking them… that’s how technically valuable and relevant they are. The WAF discussion and insights provided by Greg and Raven are top notch. Regards.

    • Etherealmind

      Hey, that’s cool. I’d forgotten about this one. Glad you liked it.