I've been having problems getting my Cisco MARS Local and Global controllers to synchronise their topologies. This error message vexed me for a few days, but thankfully Cisco's TAC solved it for me.
If you read Ciscos troubleshooting guides they will tell you to check that the MARS Local & Global controllers are running the same version, and to check that the SSL certificates are copied/pasted correctly.
If after checking the above Cisco recommendations and the additional basics ( network connectivity / ntp / timezones etc) check that both MARS boxes are running and have downloaded the same version of IPS signatures; under Admin -> IPS Signature Dynamic Update Settings -> Update Now.
It fixed the problem for me!