How to connect my macOS device to the VPN

To connect to the VPN you will be required to use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). For details on how to enrol your mobile device with Duo Mobile app, please visit the MFA site.

Step 1: Download file

Please check that you do not have any prior installations of a VPN client installed, such as OpenVPN and/or TunnelBlick as this will prevent the Cisco Secure Client installer from running correctly.

Download the MacOS VPN Client file from the ITS Software downloads module from Learn.

Once you have downloaded the VPN installer file, please return here and follow the guide to installing the Cisco Secure client.

Cisco Secure Client installer

Step 2: Install

Open the disk image (your browser may have done this for you already) and double click on the installer inside it to begin the installation process. Click Continue.

Follow through the installer steps and at its completion, you should receive confirmation that the installation was successful.

Step 3: Approve

You may see a prompt regarding the installation of a System Extension.

Troubleshooting install

If you get an Install failed message, please check again that you do not have any prior installations of a VPN client installed such as OpenVPN and/or TunnelBlick. If the problem persists, please contact the IT Services Helpdesk.

AnyConnect - System Extension guide Contact IT Services

Step 4: Launching Cisco Secure

Launch the Cisco Secure client from the Cisco folder in Applications.

If this is the first time you have used the client,

  • Click on the Cog symbol in the window to edit your Preferences
  • Ensure Allow local (LAN) access when using VPN (if configured) is ticked and then close the window.

Step 5: Configure Cisco Secure

If this is the first time you have run Cisco Secure:

  • Enter and click on Connect
  • When prompted, enter your University Username and Password and click Connect
  • The Cisco Secure client will pause, and a notification should pop up on your phone from DUO asking you to approve or deny the connection
  • 'Approve' the MFA request on the Duo app and the VPN client should continue to connect

Step 6: Connection established

Once this connection has been established, your computer will appear like it is on the campus network. Connections to central file stores can be made, applications such as Apple Remote Desktop, or an SSH connection (Secure Shell) from the Terminal can be run, or AFP drives can be mounted in order to access Macs on campus.

When Cisco Secure is open you will have an icon in the top menu bar.

Please remember to disconnect from the Cisco Secure client as well as quitting the ARD / Terminal when you have finished.