The majority of firms block staff access to web-based applications, like Google Docs and Dropbox. Businesses are concerned over security and compliance issues with bring your own services (BYOS) in the cloud, according to research from data governance software firm Varonis Systems.

Remote synchronisation services over the web, including a number of free ones, have been available to PC and mobile users for years but companies aren't so keen according to the research.

The survey of 100 US IT decision makers in May 2012, and found that 80 per cent of companies do not allow their employees to use cloud-based file synchronisation services.

But it also found that 70 percent of companies would use these services if they were as robust as internal tools.

Only 20 per cent currently allow these services due to fears of data leakage, security breaches and compliance issues. To protect themselves against these perceived threats, 59 percent of organisations use a combination of policies backed up with blocking techniques to stem the tide of enterprise files spilling onto external servers and devices.

A further 20 percent rely on policies alone to stop the leakage of proprietary and regulated data.

In stark contrast, another 20 per cent of companies have no measures in place at all to prevent their staff from accessing file synchronisation tools, leaving their employees free to take confidential data outside the company with them.

Of these firms, 70 per cent were not concerned about having no controls in place to defend themselves against potential critical information leakage or loss.