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Manchester encoding

(also biphase encoding)

Manchester encoding definition

Manchester encoding in cybersecurity refers to a specific data encoding method usually used for transmitting data over a communication channel. As a linear coding scheme, Manchester encoding ensures a reliable and accurate data transfer between devices. From a technical point of view, Manchester code is a self-clocking binary code. It combines clock and binary code into a single signal to simplify synchronization between sender and receiver. Encoding is characterized by various transitions that happen with each bit period. For example, a '0' bit represents a transition from high to low, meaning (1-0) in the middle of the period.

In comparison, the '1' bit represents a transition from low to high (0 to 1) during the middle of the bit period. In other words, Manchester code provides a regular and balanced waveform that detects any occurring errors. Now in terms of security, it's not a security tool, but it can easily contribute to overall data integrity and reliability within communication systems, which closely correlate with cybersecurity. Reliable data encoding and transmission can be crucial regarding data manipulation, unauthorized access, or interception while exchanging data. All these aspects fall under the wing of cybersecurity in one way or another.

See also: anti-malware

Key Manchester encoding applications

There are many Manchester encoding applications in our day-to-day life. Here are a few common ones:

  • Magnetic cards: Manchester encoding is used in older versions of magnetic stripe cards, like credit and membership cards, to encode the information. The card reader reads the stripe-encoded data, and later access to payment is sent for processing.
  • Fiber optic communication: Some fiber optic communication mechanisms or systems use Manchester encoding for various data transmissions, where accurate synchronization and reception are needed.
  • Digital audio: Back in the early days of digital audio formats, Manchester encoding was a way to go, but as technology progressed, it was replaced by other, more efficient encoding techniques.