If by strong, you mean ability to withstand, I will explain.
Many bugs, not just cockroaches, are able to withstand radiation better than humans because of the time period between molting. When insects molt, their cells divide and they double in mass, and this is the only time that the cells divide. Cells are at their weakest while dividing and would thus be most affected by radiation (same concept for irradiatiang cancer cells).
Some species are also able to survive a month without food or very little nutrition.
If we are talking about the shell and why that is so strong, this is why. It is composed of chitin, the same polysaccharide as that found in exoskeletons of arthropods, crustaceans and other insects. It is a flexible and very strong.
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