More than one-third of staff would sell their company's valuable intellectual property for between £1,000 and £10,000. And an especially shameless - and cheap - one per cent would sell it to persons unknown for just £100.

That is the conclusion of a survey of employees by security software and services vendor Clearswift.

"IP comes in many guises and it's essential for organisations to recognise ‘what' their IP is; where it exists and who has access to it. IP is often a company's most prized possession, if it were to fall into a competitor's hands, or even unauthorised hands, it could cause immense financial damage to a company," said Clearswift CEO Heath Davies.

"Most employees are not acting maliciously, but their carelessness can be just as damaging," added Davies.

"Companies need to wake up to the fact that employees have the potential to cause the company huge damage through their actions, and ensure that training, policies and technology are in place to minimize that risk."