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WSS Agent Support Policy FAQs

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Article ID: 199627

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Updated On:

Products

Web Security Service - WSS

Issue/Introduction

WSS Agent is optional software used for connecting Windows and MacOS devices (typically laptops) to the Web Security Service (WSS), which provides a cloud-based infrastructure for network security policy, control, and protections.   

The most recent WSS Agent release (v7.4) includes support for Windows 10 and MacOS 10.14 and above.

Resolution

WSS Agent Support Policy 

Q: What is the WSS Agent support policy?

A: WSS Agent major software releases receive support and security patching for 2 years (24 months) from the initial GA release date. The first number in the version identifies the major release. For example: WSS Agent 7.x. The second number identifies minor releases. For example: 7.2. Minor releases increment to collect patch fixes and might include minor feature work. The third number identifies maintenance releases. For example: 7.2.2. Maintenance releases contain fixes and are only available from the most recent minor release.

Because of this policy change, WSS Agent 6.x began its two years of support on September 30, 2020.

Q: What is included with support during each major release’s support term?

A: Customer support investigation and acceptance of cases continues for two years from each major version release date. Issue fixes and enhancements are only available by moving to the most current maintenance release. Security issues are addressed on all currently supported releases.

Q: What is the support term for WSS Agent 6.x (originally released in December 2019)?

A: As part of the support policy changes, the WSS Agent 6.x receives a full two-year support term, which began on September 30, 2020. 

 

WSS Agent Licensing

Q: What is changing regarding the WSS Agent license?

A: The WSS Agent license is now an included component of the base Web Security Service (WSS) license and is available to all customers for download from the WSS portal. Customers that have purchased an agent license in the past are not required to renew the agent SKU. 

 Q: Why was the agent license removed?

A: The WSS Agent functionality was merged into the base WSS offering to make it easier for businesses to operate while faced with mandatory remote work situations.

Q: When did the change occur?

A: August 2020

Q: Will existing licenses no longer be supported? 

A: This change expanded WSS Agent availability to all WSS customers. All existing licenses for the WSS Agent remain valid and applicable. WSS Agent support policy changes to two years per major release.

Q: Where do I download the WSS Agent installer?

A: Download the WSS Agent installers from the Connectivity > WSS Agent portal page.

Q: Must I renew an existing WSS Agent?

A: Customers with current valid WSS Agent licenses experience no change in behavior. The WSS Agent remains available if the base WSS subscription remains valid. Renewal of the WSS Agent SKU is not required. 

Q: How does the WSS Agent compare to the older Unified Agent features?

A: The Unified Agent (UA) was a previous branding of the WSS Agent. Versions 4 and below were labeled as UA or Unified Agent and had Blue Coat company branding.  

     The most recent WSS Agent includes significant reliability enhancements:

  • Improved centralized portal controls.
  • Greater troubleshooting data collection integrated with the Symdiag tool. 
  • Performance improvements.
  • Reduce connection times.
  • Native support for SAML authentication.
  • Support for the latest operating systems including macOS Big Sur.

 

Unified Agent (v4 and below) EOM: 

Q: What is the Unified Agent?

A: The Unified Agent (UA) was a previous branding of the WSS Agent. Versions 4 and below were labelled as UA or Unified Agent and had Blue Coat company branding. Unified Agent 4.x is the last version of the WSS Agent code base to support Windows 7.  

Q: Why did the Unified Agent enter End-Of-Maintenance (EOM)?

A:  The WSS Agent feature set has advanced greatly in the years since Unified Agent 4.x was released. With the merger of the WSS Agent’s license into the WSS base offering and in conjunction with Microsoft’s end of life for Windows 7 (January 2020), it is important that customers move to modern software offerings for optional security, performance, features, and stability. 

Q: When did the EOM occur?

A: Unified Agent 4.x and previous entered End-of-Maintenance status on March 31st, 2021.  

Q: What action should customers still running the Unified Agent take?

A: Customers with Unified Agent 4.x (and previous) should immediately plan for and perform upgrades to WSS Agent 7.x or later.  

Q: What occurred at the EOM date?

A: The Unified Agent installation applications was removed from the WSS portal. No further support troubleshooting will be performed. At this time, there is no plan to block Unified Agent connections to WSS. This plan is subject to change without notice.

Q: What are the feature differences between Unified Agent 4.x and WSS Agent?

A: The modern WSS Agent, beginning with WSS Agent 6.x, includes significant reliability enhancements.

  • WSS portal controlled temporary disablement.
  • Greater troubleshooting data collection integrated with the Symdiag tool. 
  • Performance improvements.
  • Reduce connection times.
  • Native support for SAML authentication.
  • Support for the latest operating systems including macOS Big Sur.

Q: How does this affect the Unified Agent when used in local enforcement mode?

A: Unified Agent 4.x software could be installed in a mode known as local enforcement.  In this mode, Unified Agent is linked to a local ProxySG appliance and applies simple URL filtering. This EOM also applied to UA in local-enforcement mode.

Q: Will Unified Agent in local enforcement mode continue to function?

A: The Unified Agent in local enforcement mode will continue to operate and be managed by the client manager ProxySG appliance. No further support troubleshooting will be performed for Unified Agent 4.x in local enforcement mode.