This chapter focuses on the various methods by which you can access your Cisco router and how to provide a secure method of access without using an external security server. External security servers and authentication are discussed in Chapter 5, "Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting." Remember that this book focuses on using a Cisco router as a firewall solution, so many of the ideas presented here have disadvantages in providing secure access to your router (and some I would never recommend). However, I discuss many of the options available to you so that you can understand their disadvantages and advantages, and choose the correct solution for your particular situation.
Because many people use a Cisco router as a perimeter firewall, that router serves as a first line of defense. Therefore, restricting access to it is very important. If a hacker gains access to your perimeter router, it eases his job of gaining access to resources behind it. As you will see in this chapter, you can secure access to your router in many ways: Some of them I recommend, and some of them I would never use.