Mac OS 10.15 Catalina Support and Known Issues

This article provides information about support for MacOS 10.15 Catalina, as well as known issues. It is highly advisable to read the known issues as there are several unavoidable issues in this OS release.

Apple has new enforced per application permissions in this version. Some permissions (such as user folders) will present a pop-up notice to the user to allow access, however for system level access, no notification is presented by the OS. Several Sophos services require this system level of access in order to detect and clean threats. This means that Apple will not notify users if these issues are being experienced.

All of our applications and installers are 64-bit, and will not be limited by Apple’s 32-bit restriction.

The following sections are covered:

Applies to the following Sophos products and versions

Central Mac Endpoint

Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac OS X

Operating systems

MacOS 10.15 Catalina

MacOS 10.15 Catalina overview

With the release of macOS 10.15 Catalina, Apple has added additional security lock downs to the operating system, including per application disk access lock downs. This results in several large impacting issues that must be corrected for full protection. Please see the Known Issues section below for full details. It is not recommended upgrading to 10.15 until your organization has a transition plan in place.

Required version: Sophos Endpoint 9.9.4 or above

In order to support macOS 10.15 Catalina, Sophos Endpoint 9.9.4 or above is required. Earlier versions will run if present during an upgrade, but are subject to the same known issues below, but not all permissions can be added (SophosServiceManager and SophosScanAgent cannot be added with 9.9.3), 9.9.3 and below will not install on a 10.15 system, and Central clients 9.9.2 or below will fail to communicate with Central until they update.

Sophos released 9.9.4 to Central in September 2019. 9.9.4 is also Preview subscription for Enterprise Console customers as of mid-September 2019.

For both Central and Enterprise Console, 9.9.5 releases in mid-October 2019 (to Recommended and Preview for Enterprise Console), and includes permissions popup to make installations a bit easier.

Apple has locked down the following User Folders in OS 10.15.

  • Desktop
  • Documents
  • Downloads
  • Mail
  • Safari cache

The agents will need to be added to the Full Disk Access area of security and privacy, unless otherwise noted.

All Versions

The following issues will be experienced after upgrading to macOS 10.15 and before applying the corrective steps.

  • SophosCleanD – Unable to clean up threats in the above folders
  • SophosScanAgent – On Demand scans / Scheduled scans will not detect threats in the above folders
  • Sophos Finder Scan (Through SophosScanAgent) – Will not detect threats in the above folders
  • SophosServiceManager – Parent process for SophosScanAgent
  • Sophos Diagnostic Utility (Standalone only) – User prompted to allow access to the above folders, This is “Files and Folders” access.
  • sweep – Command line scanning tool. Only used manually and only needs to be added if command line scans are being run.
  • SDU4OSX / Sophos Diagnostic Utility – Unable to access all logs

Sophos Central 9.9.4 and above

  • SophosEndpointUIServer – User is not notified of threat detection (no popup)
  • SophosCleanD – Unable to restore files (Cryptoguard) in the above folders
  • Sophos MCS Server Change – MCS has been changed to use SHA2+TLS1.2 for its connection. This uses different servers than before, and should only be an issue if specific firewall allow rules are required for the communication). (note: 9.9.3 has this change in place already)

Sophos Endpoint (Enterprise Console Managed) 9.9.4 and above

  • For initial install, all install files must be copied from the CID share locally first before running the install.
  • SophosAutoUpdate – Cannot update from SMB shares. Only HTTP/HTTPS will work until approved

Older Endpoint versions

  • Subject to the same limitations as above
  • May have other issues not covered
  • Will upgrade to 9.9.4 (other than if impacted by SophosAutoUpdate issue) even with errors
  • 9.9.2 and below will fail to communicate with MCS (Central)

The following can be performed on OS 10.14, before upgrading to 10.15, or after 10.15 has been installed. The only exception to this is SophosServiceManager, which can only be added on 10.15.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Open Security & Privacy.
  3. Go to the Privacy tab.
  4. Click the lock in the lower left and authenticate to make changes
  5. Select “Full Disk Access” on the left side
  6. Leave this window open.
  7. Open a Finder window
  8. Go, go to folder
  9. Enter: /Library/Sophos Anti-virus and click go.

  10. Drag and drop the following item from the Finder window to the Security & Privacy Full Disk Access window
    • SophosAutoUpdate (Enterprise Console managed only)
    • SophosCleanD
    • SophosScanAgent
    • SophosServiceManager
    • Sophos Endpoint UIServer (Central Managed only)
    • Sophos Diagnostic Utility (from /Library/Sophos Anti-virus/tools/)

  11. You may receive a notice that some applications will not have full access until it is quit. This is fine, Later or Quit Now are both valid.

Note: The tool “sweep”, which is /usr/local/bin/, cannot be added via this method as it is not a .app. It will prompt the user the first time the tool is run in order to be allowed. It will only be called if you are using it via command line.

Alternate Method of correction:

Using an MDM solution like Apple Profile Manager, or JAMF, you can add permissions in TCC to allow these processes. Visit the following kba articles for further instructions:

KNOWN ISSUE: “Full disk access required” message displays on Catalina when using an MDM solution with the correct access (with Sophos 9.9.5). Please see this KB134833

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