The latest release of WordPress didn’t really add much in the way of exciting features – despite many WordPress bloggers’ wasted words. However, it did add one interesting feature: automatic updates.
Basically, just like Windows, it will automatically apply security upgrades to the core system. Unlike Windows however, this will only happen if you have the latest release in place.
So, if you’re running WordPress 3.7 then, when 3.7.1 came out, you automatically got those security updates. The real benefit of this is that you can now confidently install the latest WordPress update, soon to be 3.8, without having to repeat the process a month later when they add in further security updates to that update. The major updates, from 3.7 to 3.8, you will have to do by hand still.
But are you keeping up to date with your version of WordPress in the first place? There are usually 3 major updates every year; although ‘major’ they tend to be focused on the core system rather than new features (if you want a new feature then there’s probably already a free plugin written to add it anyway). Note: This might increase as they streamline development by developing features as plugins first then adding them back into the core system.
Personally I update on every single release, but that’s quite an overhead for most small companies. Just remember that security updates appear in new releases, so look to upgrade at least once every 12 months if you want to avoid being exposed to getting your website hacked.