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WordPress is a tremendous content management system and one of the most popular systems available. More than half the web is powered by WordPress, which in and of itself is impressive.
Because WordPress is so popular, its also a target for hackers and those with ill intentions. For that reason alone, keeping your WordPress website up to date will help keep your website secure. With each version, major security items are addressed. Areas that have been found to be vulnerable are closed off and made more secure. Sure, the newest versions have a built-in system for intermediate security patches, but keeping the site update to the latest major version ensures you get the most up to date security for your website.
Its also important to understand that WordPress is built on PHP, which is a great coding language that continues to be under active development. As PHP continues to grow and mature, new versions of PHP are released and security issues are addressed and functions that power the language may change. Most hosting companies will upgrade PHP on their servers to the latest version to ensure the best security. When this occurs, your WordPress website will run on the newer version as well. Older WordPress installations built for older versions of PHP are prone to break when forced to run on newer versions, so having an up to date installation will also keep your site working on properly with the latest PHP version.
Security on your website is a very important part of maintaining a website. After all, you have invested time and money in your website and the last thing you want is some hacker turning your website into their own personal playground. Keep your WordPress site up to date and secure.