Windows 10 V1803: Issues with Cisco Anyconnect VPN

[German]A brief information for administrators in enterprise environments. When using Cisco Anyconnect VPN under Windows 10 V1803 it can happen that the Windows Defender Security Center is constantly opened in the foreground.


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A description of this issue

It is a strange behavior a user reported on MS-Answers. When using Cisco Anyconnect VPN, the Windows Defender Security Center from Windows 10 V1803 opened cyclically a window to report the security status. He wrote:

On several of our Windows 10 1803 Laptops, and when connecting to our VPN using Cisco Anyconnect, Windows Defender Security Centre’s – Security at a Glance constantly opens and becomes the active window.

Every 5 or minutes it takes the foreground and makes it impossible to work while connected, regardless if you close it or shrink it.

All the items have green ticks, do not display any issues when popping up.

I can’t see anyone else having this issue on the almighty google, so am hoping someone here might be able to help?

The root cause and a workaround

The user affected from this behavior has found the root cause and a workaround himself. The Cisco Anyconnect VPN solution checks cyclically whether an antivirus solution is installed under Windows. If such AV software is found, the VPN software checks whether the installed AV solution is up-to-date. Only then a VPN connection is allowed.

Seems a useful approach, and Windows Defender included in Windows 10 was also entered in the AV list of the user affected. As a workaround, the administrator has now excluded the Windows programs AntiVirus, Personal Firewall and AntiSpyware from the security check. This stopped the Windows Defender notification. In the current case, the user writes, ESET Smart Security is used as antivirus solution, firewall and anti-spyware protection on their systems. Maybe it will help if you use this combination and if you are affected.


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