The Iron stunned high-flying Nottingham Forest with a surprise victory in midweek but they failed to build on that performance as Nigel Clough’s side arrested their slide with a battling display.
Rams midfielder Paul Green had a goal disallowed for offside in the second half and on-loan Scunthorpe midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim also had a goal chalked off for offside as both teams had to settle for a point.
The result means second-bottom Scunthorpe still have just two home wins to their name this season, while Derby are without a win in seven Championship games.
The Iron almost took advantage of some uncertainty in the Derby defence after just six minutes, when Stephen Bywater tipped Lee Miller’s close-range effort around the post and from the resulting corner Michael Nelson’s towering header was tipped over by the Rams keeper.
Scunthorpe were appealing for a penalty when Andy Hughes went down under a challenge from Gareth Roberts but referee Scott Mathieson saw nothing untoward.
The Rams were struggling to get into their stride and it took until 26 minutes for them to go close, with debutant Jamie Ward flashing a right-foot drive wide of Josh Lillis’ left-hand post.
A poor playing surface prevented both sides from getting the ball down and playing but Scunthorpe edged a poor first half, with the visitors clearly lacking confidence.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net less than two minutes into the second half but Green’s celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
Derby looked far more dangerous at the start of the second half and Green tried his luck from 20 yards but the Republic of Ireland midfielder’s effort was straight at Lillis.
Scunthorpe were struggling to get out of their own half and Steve Davies played in midfielder Ben Davies, whose strike was deflected wide for a corner.
Rams keeper Bywater was called into action once again 12 minutes into the second half when he got down well to keep out a shot from the lively Mark Duffy.
Ward’s promising Derby debut was cut short with 20 minutes remaining, with Polish forward Tomasz Cywka coming on to replace him.
Derby were then indebted to centre-half Daniel Ayala, making his first start since his loan move from Liverpool, when he got in the way of a venomous drive from Michael Collins.
Iron substitute Ibrahim had the home supporters on their feet six minutes from time when he found the back of the net but the midfielder was denied by an offside flag and the game always seemed destined to finish goalless.