To protect network devices, it is important to use strong passwords. Here are standard guidelines to follow:

The figure shows examples of strong and weak passwords.

On Cisco routers, leading spaces are ignored for passwords, but spaces after the first character are not ignored. Therefore, one method to create a strong password is to use the space bar in the password and create a phrase made of many words. This is called a pass phrase. A pass phrase is often easier to remember than a simple password. It is also longer and harder to guess.

Administrators should ensure that strong passwords are used across the network. One way to accomplish this is to use the same “brute force” attack tools that attackers use as a way to verify password strength.