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Cybersecurity Challenges in Indo-Pacific: Comparison between China's & India's Satellite System

Focusing on Beidou Satellite System and the Navigation in Indian Constellation

By Siddharth Shankar

Guided by Commodore RS Vasan & Madhumitha R

Image Courtesy: Economic Times

C3S launched its Issue Brief initiative. An issue brief is a summary of the knowledge surrounding an issue or a problem. It summarizes the issue by giving clear, concise, and complete information describing all facets of a particular issue including a detailed illustration in the form of images, data, and facts. It also includes recommendations for action and predictions on the future course of an issue.


Cybersecurity has often been the critical domain of the 21st century, where information and data on crucial sectors are stored and remain transparent in computer networks. In the context of Indian Ocean, close to 70% of global trade are carried out with increased average ship movement observed on a day-to-day basis. With data considered to be the new oil in the 21st century world order, there comes the requirement of maritime cybersecurity. In the words of the International Maritime Organisation, a maritime cyber risk is defined as “A measure to the extent of which a technology asset may be threatened by a potential circumstance or event, which may result in shipping-related operational, safety or security failures as a consequence of information or systems being corrupted, lost or compromised.”

The paper attempts to discuss the strategies implemented by China and India in tackling the maritime cybersecurity challenges in the Indian Ocean with a focus on a comparative analysis of both the Indian Naval Forces as well as the People’s Liberation Armed Navy Forces management of their satellite navigation programmes – the parameters listed out, the capabilities of the respective satellite programmes and lastly, the potential implications of the programmes to their efficient utilisation by the respective naval forces.

The paper provides a comprehensive study of the key satellite programmes of Indian Ocean Region’s two major powers, often engaged in competition and confrontation with each other and there is a need to further expand the area of research in the field of maritime cybersecurity and the Indo-Pacific.

Read the full Conference paper at this link:

Download PDF • 3.29MB

(Siddharth Shankar is a Research Intern at C3S. The views expressed by the author do not reflect the views of C3S.)

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