After watching competitors make a slew of cloud-related acquisitions in recent months, Trend Micro stepped up to the plate this week by acquiring Humyo, a privately held provider of online storage and file synchronization applications.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the purchase, Trend Micro hopes to open up a new revenue stream by selling cloud-based storage and security apps to small businesses and consumers looking to back up and sync their PCs, netbooks and smartphones.

Humyo, based in England, claims to service more than 700,000 customers who will now be able to access Trend Micro's portfolio of on-premises and cloud-based data security applications.

"The growth in mobile devices, iPad and Internet-enabled televisions means people want access to what they want, when they want it and on whatever device they have with them," Dan Conlon, Humyo's co-founder and managing director, said in a statement. "Online storage with synchronization makes that happen."

Along with the quick expansion of its customer base by 700,000-plus users, Trend Micro figures to benefit most from Humyo's data synchronization application. Using a browser, customers can move and backup data from one PC or smartphone to another automatically and then access the Humyo client through an extra hard drive on their PCs when they're either online or offline.

"Online backup is a critical element of data security," Carol Carpenter, general manager of Trend Micro's consumer and small business unit, said in a statement. "Humyo products and services combined with Trend Micro's industry-leading security offerings will give our customers the peace-of-mind that their computers and their valuable and ever-expanding digital information will be safe from malware and some other catastrophic incident."

Security software competitors including McAfee (NYSE: MFE) and Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) have aggressively introduced their own cloud-based security portfolios in the past six months.

And when they're not busy building their own software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, they're acquiring privately held cloud-computing specialists to round out their on-demand portfolios.

IDC predicts sales of online backup and storage applications will surge more than 25 percent between 2009 and 2011, a growth rate that mirrors the expected uptick in demand for online security applications in general over this same period.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.