Old problem, new look
Industrial espionage is as old as, well, industry. The fact that a lot of it is now done via the internet instead of the old-fashioned way doesn't make this a brand new threat (or one that could be countered simply by improving internet security). If companies tightened up their electronic systems that would provide some benefit - but isn't it likely that the baddies would just go back to their old ways: bribing employees, blackmailing staff, sneaking in dressed as cleaners or just employing some disaffected brainiacs who carry all the relevant knowledge in their heads?
Anyhow, stealing other peoples' secrets is a two-way affair. It would surprise no-one to discover that british (or any other country's) firms were also engaging in such pursuits and reaping the benefits of their work, too.