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WS-Security is an essential component of the Web services protocol stack. WS-Security provides end-to-end security properties (integrity, confidentiality, and authentication) through open XML standards. End-to-end message security assures the participation of non-secure transport intermediaries in message exchanges, which is a key advantage for Web-based systems and service-oriented architectures. However, point-to-point message security based on TLS (transport layer security) is known to significantly outperform WS-Security. In this paper we analyze the overhead of the WS-Security protocol processing stages and evaluate existing and new techniques for WS-Security signature performance optimizations to speed up end-to-end message integrity assurance and authentication.