In a system for providing access control management to electronic data, techniques to secure the electronic data and keep the electronic data secured at all times are disclosed. According to one embodiment, a secured file or secured document includes two parts: an attachment, referred to as a header, and an encrypted document or data portion. The header includes security information that points to or includes the access rules and a file key. The access rules facilitate restrictive access to the secured document and essentially determine who/when/how/where the secured document can be accessed. The file key is used to encrypt/decrypt the encrypted data portion. Only those who have the proper access privileges are permitted to retrieve the file key to encrypt/decrypt the encrypted data portion.