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Sticky Fingers: Managing the Global Risk of Economic Espionage

From computer chips to potato chips, record labels to sticky labels, optical lasers to personal razors, intellectual property is widely recognized as the driving force behind America's success in the last century. As the United States spends more money on research and development than any other nation, it also makes the valuable trade secrets of U.S. companies lucrative, high-profile targets of economic espionage.

Economic espionage and the theft of trade secrets costs U.S. businesses more than $250 billion a year and is one of our nation's largest security threats since the end of the Cold War, according to the FBI. More than 56 percent of Fortune 1,000 businesses have been victimized, yet little has been written on how to avoid the enormous and inevitable financial toll caused by economic espionage and trade secret theft...until now.

In Sticky Fingers: Managing the Global Risk of Economic Espionage, internationally recognized crisis management expert Steven Fink offers a practical, eye-opening guide that shows companies how to prevent the huge economic losses of economic espionage before it happens -- as well as what to do if a company has already been victimized to prevent further damage. For example, if you go to the FBI, will your trade secrets be better protected or more at risk. The answer is fluid and unsettling.

Sticky Fingers also explains in pragmatic fashion what companies need to do in order to reduce their risk of being victimized, as well as reduce their risk of being investigated as an inadvertent recipient of another company’s trade secrets. The book pulls no punches in taking the government to task for failing to adequately crack down on this epidemic problem and illustrates how the FBI and the Department of Justice have fallen far short in using the vast resources provided in the landmark Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to combat this threat to our nation's security. (For more information on this ever-growing business crisis, please see, which includes a link to the Economic Espionage Speakers Bureau).

Whether your company is large or small, publicly traded or privately held, you can fight back to reduce your risk of having your trade secrets victimized, compromised or stolen, using the clear, pragmatic strategies in this essential business book.

Rave reviews for Sticky Fingers

""In this fascinating book on economic espionage, Fink makes the case that the global threat of economic espionage is enormous and that all companies, regardless of size, need to take steps to counter this threat."

--Library Journal Book Review

“Steven Fink has done us all an invaluable service by examining in depth an important type of crisis, namely, economic espionage. Ideally, all top corporate executives would do well to read his book to be prepared to combat one of the most significant crises we face.”

--Ian Mitroff,
Professor of Business Policy,
Annenberg School for Communications, University of Southern California

"There is an old saying, 'Business is War,' and Sticky Fingers shows us just how true that is! It presents a sobering message to executives all across corporate America: Be proactive in mitigating your risks or others will be proactive in exploiting them!"

--Stephen Barish,
Manager of Security Technology Solutions,
Ernst & Young, LLP

"This Book is a Winner!!! Steven Fink, author of the bestselling Crisis Management, has written a truly superb book on economic espionage. Fink writes with great ease and clarity....

-- Mark Robinson, author of Beyond Competitive Intelligence: The Practice of CounterIntelligence and Trade Secrets Protection.

And more high praise:

“Every executive and manager should read this book pronto and follow the author's sound advice on protecting their company's trade secrets.”

"(A)s Fink eloquently explains, we must also be concerned about -- and take appropriate measures to protect -- information which is as important to the global economy as oxygen is to the human body."

"Have you ever had to decide whether to pick up that juicy Tom Clancy book or that stale, but important business one? Steven Fink splits the difference and solves your problem with this book that is half spy story, half business advice."

"Sticky Fingers is a highly valuable contribution to the ranks of important, must-read business books that sheds much-needed light on the theft of company trade secrets."

"This book tells it like it is! It is obvious from reading Sticky Fingers that the author knows his subject, inside and out. The book has been thoroughly researched and well documented with a couple of hundred source notes to back it up, including interviews with former and current Justice Department prosecutors and FBI agents, as well as many corporate executives."

"It is amazing to consider that corporate spies steal more than $250 billion a year from US companies. The writing here is excellent, making for a compelling read as author Fink uses the landmark Avery Dennison/Four Pillars case throughout this book as a backdrop for understanding the damage a company spy can cause."

"This is easily one of the most readable and important business books to hit the shelves in many years. I have followed Fink's work since the publication in the mid-1980's of his first (terrific) business book, CRISIS MANAGEMENT: PLANNING FOR THE INEVITABLE. In this newest work, Fink once again uses his engaging and lively writing style (he is also a novelist) to alert readers to America's newest and biggest business crisis -- the theft of trade secrets."

"(T)his book can be so valuable to decision-makers in global organizations." reviews