Speed up download time
The Sophos Anti-Virus updates on a MacBook Air are incredibly slow. This happens at least once/day when the computer is awakened. So downloading email messages is delayed 5 or 10 minutes while Sophos works. Very frustrating. Is there another way?!!
Stuart Davey commented
Are you using a cabled or wireless connection? Wireless can be flaky and slow.
What sort of specification is you MacBook Air? MacOS is memory hungry so consider a memory upgrade if possible
Have you tried running Activeity Monitor during the Sophos Update to see what CPU, Memory and Network resources it is using?
Do you close applications or just minimise them like lots of Mac users do?
Is this a standalone, SEC or Central managed endpoint?
You can't (shouldn't) avoid the updates especially if the machine has been off for a while as new protection will be missing until the update is completed.