Giant German goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann kept Preston in it with some important saves, not least when palming away a fierce late shot from Carlisle substitute Andy Welsh.
North End had their backs to the wall for long periods, but Carlisle were unable to find the vital final ball or shot on goal to take all three points.
Preston had the best chance of the first half when Graham Cummings sprang the offside trap and burst through to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Adam Collin, who blocked his initial shot before grabbing the rebound.
Preston were saved first by the post and then the alertness of Stuckmann in the 68th minute when Frank Simek went raiding down the right and his cross was headed against the right hand upright by Lee Miller, who followed up only to see the goalkeeper recover to tip the ball over.
Although Carlisle had the edge, Preston could have stolen it eight minutes from time when sub Chris Holroyd sent Collin full length with a raking 25-yard effort.