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Sophos Firewall reported computer not sending heartbeat signals

Since November an increasing number of endpoints is reported from Central with "Sophos Firewall SN reported computer not sending heartbeat signals"

We upgraded our HQ XG from 18.5.4 to 19.0.1 on  Nov 12th but the issue started already before as you can see from the screenshots.

Before that, we only received this alerts occasionally.  Sometimes the message comes multiple times per day for a machine, then a few days no message is created even if the computer is still in use.

What is the issue here?

Central Region is Central Europe

One Computer:

Added TAGs
[edited by: Qoosh at 11:24 PM (GMT -8) on 12 Dec 2022]
  • Are you able to see any similar errors in the logs located at "C:\ProgramData\Sophos\Heartbeat\Logs"? 

    Could the device be entering a hibernate or sleep state at the times when these events are generated?

    Kushal Lakhan
    Team Lead, Global Community Support
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  • I was on the computer and it was in standby.

    I could see the Intel Networkdriver was frequently dumping something all the time during standby.

    7026 - Dump after return from D3 after cmd

    7025 - Dump after return from D3 before cmd


    Probably causing network flapping which triggers Heartbeat Change.

    In the heartbeat log I could see many, many events during standby mode: network has changed - firewall may disconnect


    2022-11-16T09:21:38.596Z [ 5212: 6340] A Sending network status
    2022-11-16T09:21:38.596Z [ 5212: 6340] A The network status has changed, the Firewall may disconnect.
    2022-11-16T09:21:38.598Z [ 5212: 6340] A Connection closed (network error).


    I updated (network) drivers and BIOS at first place and will monitor the situation.

    Can the heartbeat module be tweaked so that it is compatible with Standby?

    Everyone taks about saving energy - would be non-pc to disable standby for heartbeat to work.

  • Those Mails are coming more frequently now and it is annoying. Will Sophos Fix NC-111152?

  • @sophos, you'll never fix it, won't you?

    Those alerts when the computers go to hibernate / sleep are so frequent and useless that everyone is ignoring them. So I'm going to disable them. Good work.

  • Forgot to ask, did you adjust those parameters on the firewall? 

    console> system synchronized-security
    central_registration delay-missing-heartbeat-detection suppress-missing-heartbeat-to-central
    console> system synchronized-security


  • yes, I already increased at least some of them. Cannot login to verify currently due to SSH authentication issues - other post in FW forum.

  • firewall is constantly reporting some computers with missing heartbeat. if I check them, they are currently not online on our network because they sleep.

    And it is not a firewall issue from my point of view - the endpoint heartbeat agent should be able to see the upcoming event of windows entering hibernate and then quickly report to the firewall that it will temporarily disconnect from heartbeat.

    Because this is not happening, the firewall just sees a abandoned heartbeat session and correctly reports the issue to central.

    Tweaking delays will not change this when the client (usually) is in hibernate state longer than the delay.

  • The reason of those hits are quite simple: In Hibernation, the client will still send data. But the daemon of Sophos is already closed, as the sub system is already shut down. So the firewall will see the data and will react to the data as interpret them as missing heartbeat.

    If you switch to hibernate, likely the endpoint cannot fetch this information not fast enough until windows will shut down the system. Therefore the missing heartbeat is generated. 

    The ID above is something, where likely the client is not in hibernate, instead the daemon is shutdown for whatever reason. 


    By adding the delay value on the firewall, you likely will decrease those alerts, as the firewall will give some time to the client ip until it will react to it. This will lead to a better reporting, as most windows clients will stop interacting with the gateway after 1-2 minutes going into hibernation. . 


  • it is probably something that is also in combination with the NIC Vendor. As it is standard Intel NIC on business Notebooks in our case, this should be quite common. The screenshots from event viewer above show something is happening on the NIC when it is in hibernate. This may revive heartbeat or cause some other issues with that. Anyway my opinion is that this should work unless a customer uses exotic hardware with old drivers. Not a solution is to disable hibernate or disable energy saving feature on the NIC.

  • If you do a tcpdump / packet capture on the IP and do the hibernation, what kind of traffic do you still see? And maybe you will find the reason by researching this traffic further. 


  • Hello LHerzog,

    DEV has some binary ready for NC-111152, I would recommend you to open a case with Support, and you can mention about NC-111152, the case would get to GES and they can confirm is your issue matches NC-111152 and install the binary, to see if this resolves your issue.

    IF you do this, share the Case ID.


    Emmanuel (EmmoSophos)
    Technical Team Lead, Global Community Support
    Sophos Support VideosProduct Documentation  |  @SophosSupport  | Sign up for SMS Alerts
    If a post solves your question use the 'Verify Answer' link.
  • Thank you   - is that binary for endpoint or firewall?

Reply Children
  • Hello LHerzog,

    This would be for the Sophos Firewall.


    Emmanuel (EmmoSophos)
    Technical Team Lead, Global Community Support
    Sophos Support VideosProduct Documentation  |  @SophosSupport  | Sign up for SMS Alerts
    If a post solves your question use the 'Verify Answer' link.
  • thanks! I opended case 06153996 maybe you put a hint there for the tech.

  • that case is like a blind flight I guess.
    that's all done so far.

    console> system synchronized-security delay-missing-heartbeat-detection show
    console> system synchronized-security suppress-missing-heartbeat-to-central show

  • Hello LHerzog,

    Thank you for the update, I can see your case is now with GES for further investigation.


    Emmanuel (EmmoSophos)
    Technical Team Lead, Global Community Support
    Sophos Support VideosProduct Documentation  |  @SophosSupport  | Sign up for SMS Alerts
    If a post solves your question use the 'Verify Answer' link.
  • Support tech found this which is what I already posted above: (modern) standby causes those issues.
    Asking me to disable standby, which is not a desired workaround.

    We've already had a case open in 2021 with SFOS 18.0.5: 04121743  Endpoints reporting "at risk"to XG firewall but Sophos Central showing no issues.

    Support tech wrote there: "I believe from the logs you have provided, I do see that it went from a green connected state to a red missing heartbeat state multiple times back to back. This occurs when heartbeat traffic from the device is no longer sent to the firewall, typically after the machine enters sleep/wakes from sleep or gets disconnected.

    I believe that the endpoints were having issues connecting or enters sleep/wakes from sleep very quickly that the updates were not relayed to central in time therefore it didn't show up there."

    2023-03-28T13:58:53.665Z [ 5156: 5160] I Received Screen Off notification: Endpoint entering Modern Standby

    2023-03-28T13:58:58.229Z [ 4800: 6088] D Failed to connect: system:10065.
    2023-03-28T13:58:58.229Z [ 4800: 6088] D + Connection::OnConnectError()
    2023-03-28T13:58:58.229Z [ 4800: 6088] A Connection failed.

  • After several test we can confirm the statement from Tech Support, that Sophos Heartbeat is not compatible with Modern Standby feature of Windows and / or modern Computers.

    So as customer you have 2 choices to get this worked around:

    1. Disable modern Standby on the OS of all your client computers:

        powercfg /a
        should report s0 is enabled. s0 is modern standby
        New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
        PlatformAoAcOverride with the value 0
        powercfg /a
        should report s3 is enabled. s3 is classic standby

    2. disable the mail notification about missing heartbeat in sophos central, and ignore all the alerts that appear on the dashboard through out the day and continue to use the modern standby on the client computers.

    Both workarounds are bad ones.

    Sophos should get Heartbeat be compatible with current computers and operating systems.

  • final statement, I received from support.

    feedback from our Product management team and they have stated- "we do have a roadmap item to improve modern standby behavior, but at this time there is no commitment as to when it would be delivered."

    so it may, hopefully, get better sometimes.