Fixing the "Failed to connect to authentication server" error in GlobalProtect VPN for Mac

If your Mac is running macOS El Capitan (v10.11) you will get this error message when you first try to connect to GlobalProtect VPN. To fix it, you will need to adjust your security settings.

GlobalProtect error on macOS El Capitan

  1. In the upper right corner of your Mac, click the magnifying glass to perform a spotlight search for Keychain Access. Double-click the top search result to open it. 
    Mac spotlight search for Keychain access
  2. In the section labelled Keychains select login, and in the section labelled Category select Certificates. Then double-click inCommon RSA Server CA to view its properties. 
    • If the certificate isn't there, download it: InCommonRSAServerCA.cer. Then go to your Downloads folder and double-click it to install it. 
    Keychain with Incommon certifcates displayed
  3. To the left of Trust, click the arrow to open the properties. Next to When using this certificate , change the setting from Use system defaults to Always Trust.
    Keychain always-trust certificate
  4. Close this window, and when prompted, enter the admin password for your Mac.
  5. Connect to GlobalProtect VPN.

See Also:

For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or via email at consultant@northwestern.edu.