About pass phrases in encryption

Encryption keys require a pass phrase, which is similar to a password. Pass phrases are usually longer than passwords and are comprised of several words or groups of text. A good pass phrase is between eight and 128 characters. The minimum number of characters for 128-bit AES encryption is eight. The minimum number of characters for 256-bit AES encryption is 16. Symantec recommends that you use more than the minimum number of characters.


Hardware encryption that uses the T10 standard requires 256-bit AES. Backup Exec does not let you enable hardware encryption for a job unless it uses at least a 16-character pass phrase.

Also, a good pass phrase contains a combination of upper and lower case numbers, letters, and special characters. You should avoid using literary quotations in pass phrases.

A pass phrase can include only printable ASCII characters, which are characters 32 through 126. ASCII character 32 is the space character, which is entered using the space bar on the keyboard. ASCII characters 33 through 126 include the following:


More Information

Creating an encryption key

Selecting an encryption key for a backup job

Setting default backup network and security options

Deleting an encryption key