Applies to: Sophos Home Premium and Free (Mac)
"This device is vulnerable" | "Computer is vulnerable" messages appear when some Sophos Home components are not loaded/properly installed. This situation must be addressed to ensure your system is protected from online threats.
The most common scenarios in which these messages appear are after a Sophos Home installation/upgrade takes place, or when upgrading your macOS system. In those cases, the first step is to restart the Mac to allow it to load the new/updated components.
There is also the possibility that another security software may be blocking the full installation of Sophos Home - Please ensure you are not running 2 or more antivirus simultaneously.
Additional examples of the message
On the Sophos Home dashboard, or on the Sophos Home Shield, you may have received the alert This device is vulnerable after installing/updating Sophos Home
Sophos Home Shield example:
Troubleshooting the message
macOS 11 - Big Sur - please follow these steps instead
macOS 11 -Big Sur users, please follow this article instead: macOS 11 - Big Sur - Troubleshooting issues
Before you start: Ensure no conflicting security software is installed
If you are running multiple security software programs, you may encounter issues in which they conflict with each other. Please remove any other antivirus software before installing Sophos Home. More information here: Can I use Sophos Home along other security/antivirus software?
1 - Check if any Sophos Home components need to be allowed
- Click on the Apple menu from the taskbar then select System Preferences…
- On the System Preferences window, select Security & Privacy.
- Under the "General" section, click on the padlock at the bottom left to be able to make changes.
- Ensure "App Store and identified developers" option is selected under "Allow apps downloaded from"
- Click the Allow button next to the prompt System software from developer “Sophos” was blocked from loading at the bottom of the Security & Privacy window.
Note: To make changes, you may need to click on the lock, as per the screenshot (bottom left).
(Click on the image to see it in full size)
2 - After checking the components, restart the mac
Usually, the alert is cleared after restarting the Mac and waiting for 10-15 minutes. This ensures all components are updated and re-loaded.
3 - Check your dashboard settings
If protections are disabled via Sophos Home dashboard, Sophos Home will reflect that on the Shield. To check protections are enabled, follow these steps: The real-time protection is disabled.
Additional troubleshooting steps
4 - Check if the Mac has run out of available slots to load Sophos Home
This occurs when the Mac runs out of virtual slots to load applications (Virtual machines software, for example, utilizes virtual slots). If there aren't any available slots, macOS cannot load additional components. Follow these steps to correct that: There are too many applications that register virtual devices.
5 - Do a manual reload of Kernel extensions (KEXTS)
In some cases, the Sophos Home KEXTS need to be manually enabled in order to allow them to load. To do so, follow these steps:
Step-by-step guide - Allowing KEXTS
- Boot into Recovery mode (Apple Article ht201314)
- Open the Terminal (From the menu at the top)
- Type the following command:
/usr/sbin/spctl kext-consent add 2H5GFH3774
(Please mind the space between spctl and kext, the space between consent and add, and the space between add and 2H... )
- Type command:
- Reboot your Mac
- After confirming Sophos Home shield's status area is green, follow steps 1 and 2, then type the following command in the terminal:
- Reboot your Mac
Note: If the above scenarios do not fix your issue, follow this article: re-installing Sophos Home