Organised crime and industrial espionage are no longer the domain of fiction and James Bond movies as highlighted by the recent TK Maxx scam, but it's not just credit card details criminals are after.

All industries have huge amounts of intellectual property to protect; and considering the intense competition to be first to market it's no surprise that competing companies actively recruit hackers to steal that property.

The growth of outsourcing and offshoring, as well as complex supply chains that increasingly require large data-sharing agreements, are key drivers for the increased threat posed by industrial espionage. Most intellectual property theft goes unreported or undiscovered, but countries such as the UK, which rely heavily on know-how, are increasingly becoming targets.

The potential impact of losing intellectual property is catastrophic and will in many cases lead to a business's downfall.

Henk Jan Spanjaard, EMEA managing director, Decru.