A security template is a file containing security settings. Those settings can be applied to a local computer or imported to a Group Policy object in Active Directory. When you import a security template to a Group Policy object, Group Policy processes the template and makes the corresponding changes to the members of that Group Policy object, which might be users or computers. Security templates are an effective way to apply consistent security settings to a large group of computers when you cannot use domain-based Group Policy settings for one reason or another.

Windows 2000 provides a set of security templates for your use in setting up your environment. A security template is a profile of security settings thought appropriate for a specific level of security on a range of Windows 2000 computer roles, including client computer.

You can import a security template into a Group Policy object and apply it to a class of computers. You can also import the template into a personal database and use it to examine and configure the security policy of a local computer.