What? Financial warfare, like conventional warfare, is intended to enhance national power, diminish the power of rivals and achieve policy goals. It is actual warfare conducted through banking and capital markets channels, it is not mere economic policy as in the case of so-called currency wars, trade wars or embargoes. It has been used on Iran in 2012 and again on Russia in 2015. The financial warfare battle-space can be offensive or defensive. Offensive capability includes attacks on banks and stock exchanges to steal data, shut down systems or cause financial panics. Defensive capability includes the construction of firewalls, creation of redundant systems and creation of non-digital substitute systems that cannot be hacked.
So what? Technological warfare capabilities may be increasingly symmetric, but the potential damage to the West is asymmetric as financial losses are existential for the U.S., so the deterrent effect on nations like China and Russia is low. There is essentially nothing stopping Russia, Iran or China from launching a “first strike” financial warfare attack if it serves some other national strategic purpose.
Source: Business Insider - How to protect your money from financial warfare