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In this paper we present XPRIDE as an efficient security architecture for assuring the confidentiality and integrity of the XML-based SOAP messages in Web Services. The policy-based approach employed in XPRIDE can be easily configured and modified to provide security according to the content and sensitivity of the data. Implementation shows that XPRIDE has considerable performance gains over existing bulk encryption protocols such as SSL and over existing policy-based solutions such as WS-Security. XPRIDE is designed as a platform-independent architecture and can be seamlessly integrated into existing application servers.